Chris Pateman to retire as FCS CEO
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
Chris Pateman will retire as FCS' CEO later this month

Chris Pateman will step down from his role as CEO of the Federation of Communications Services on 30 November 2017

Itret Latif, FCS’s deputy chairman, will act as interim CEO while the Board seeks a replacement CEO. Latif is the former Telecoms Business Manager of Scottish and Southern Energy plc (SSE), where he worked since 1991. In that time, Itret was instrumental in developing SSE’s retail communications business in the domestic sector and thanks to his power company background, has a very firm grasp of regulatory issues.

Pateman will be reducing his direct involvement in the federation but will take a lead role in the promotion and management of the Broadband Voucher Scheme and the joint Business Radio 2017 and VTI (Vehicle Technology Installer) event, which will take place at Chateau Impney, Droitwich Spa on 16 November 2017.

“It’s good to look back on the past five years,” said Pateman. “...Five years ago, the ongoing use of UHF2 for business radio was under threat from the mobile networks operators’ territorial ambitions. We were starting to sharpen our arguments for 2x10 reserved spectrum in 700MHz for emergency services. And O2 bought a block of 4G spectrum with a legal coverage obligation which they now have seven weeks left to deliver.

“I hate to say ‘we told you so’. But life would have been a lot easier if the government had sent a mole to listen in at the bar during BR12!”

He added that “FCS is all about identifying members’ commercial pain points and serving their needs”. It addressed interference from poor quality installation on shared mast sites was addressed in 2013 with a complete industry-authored re-write of the old MPT1331 to create FCS1331 – the code of engineering best practice for radio mast sites. “We launched a self-certification quality scheme to go with it, and we’re just working through a further first-principles refresh to reflect current best practice.”

“FCS led the fight against re-purposing UHF2 — collecting evidence from right across the BR industry to inform Ofcom’s decision-making,” he added.

Pateman spent more than 30 years serving the business to business sector, prior to joining FCS in 2012. A former business journalist, he spent five years in business development with a national buying group and invoice factoring hub before joining the Builders Merchants Federation as managing director in 2007. In this role, he managed both a national trade association and a market-leading training business.

Pateman studied metallurgy at Aston University, and began his business life as a production engineer in a Black Country glassworks. He is a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a Freeman of the City of London. Away from work, Chris serves as a Free Church minister, a doting grandfather, a fellow of the Institute of Builders Merchants, a director of the Institute of Association Management, and co-founder of a community interest company focused on sustainable intensive farming.

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