Ofcom signals commitment to emerging tech
Written by: Charlotte Hathway | Published:

Ofcom has announced that Professor Simon Saunders will join the regulator next month as director of emerging technology.

The creation of this new role comes at an interesting time for the regulator. It appointed Dame Melanie Dawes yesterday and announced its board is looking to have a new chair in place by the end of the year amidst a shift to an expanded remit to include regulating the internet.

Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s group director for strategy and research, said, “It’s fantastic that Simon’s joining Ofcom. He will bring significant experience to our work and help ensure we’re equipped to handle the increasing pace of technological change.”

Saunders joins from Google, where he was head of connectivity partnerships for Europe, Middle East and Africa, having started there in 2015. He is a specialist in communication technology, with a technical and commercial background, having worked in industry, including at Motorola and Philips, in academia at the University of Surrey and Trinity College Dublin, and as an advisor on communication systems for business users, operators and technology vendors.

He is also a visiting professor at King’s College London and was a member of the Ofcom Spectrum Advisory Board from 2007 to 2014. He has founded and chaired several technology forums and associations, most notably Real Wireless which he co-founded and jointly ran for its first nine years.

Saunders said, “I can’t wait to get started at Ofcom, which is a forward-thinking regulator that understands technology. I’m looking forward to helping shape the future of Ofcom’s work to improve communications for people and businesses in the UK.”

Saunders is also a trustee of the charity Music for All, where he organised the world’s first ever music lesson delivered using 5G.

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