The World Communication Awards 2019 will be held on the 30th October 2019, at London’s De Vere Grand Connaught Room

Earlier this month, Total Telecom released the shortlist for the World Communication Awards 2019 and with the event itself just around the corner, what better time than to take a closer look at the finalists from one of the most hotly contested categories – the much coveted CTO of the Year award. 
Whittling the entries down to a shortlist of just six was no mean feat, with the judges going back and forth a number of times on who would make the cut. 
“Chief technology officer is one of those roles that is absolutely critical to the success of a business,” a spokesman for the WCA judging panel said. 
“You need to be dynamic, driven and creative in your approach to overcoming a whole range of technical challenges. With consumers beginning to demand that ubiquitous, ultrafast connectivity, there has never been a more challenging time to be a CTO. 
“Everyone who made the shortlist has demonstrated exemplary commitment to delivering next generation connectivity for their chosen company and has had a positive impact on the lives of their customers.” 
Unsurprisingly, this year’s entries focussed heavily on 5G and fibre to the home rollouts, as operators and service providers across the world rollout their fledgling next generation networks.  
This year’s shortlisted entrants for the CTO of the year award are: 
David Tomalin, Group CTO, CityFibre
CityFibre has one of the most ambitious fibre deployment remits in the UK, aiming to reach 5 million homes and businesses with fibre-to-the-home services by the mid-2020s. David has played a key role in the planning and deployment of this ambitious project. 
Enrique Blanco, CTIO, Telefónica 
Telefonica presides over one of Europe’s biggest fibre estates and also has a huge presence in Latin America. Blanco has demonstrated a strong commitment to technological innovation and has developed a long-term vision for Telefonica, while consolidating FTTH and 4G network deployments. In Europe, Telefonica boasts almost 52m ultra-broadband premised passed and 95per cent LTE PoP coverage in Europe. 
Brendan O’Reilly, CTO, O2
O2 has made a firm commitment to 5G in the UK and is expected to launch its first services in London, Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh later this year. Under O’Reilly’s stewardship, O2 purchased the most spectrum at the country’s 5G auction, putting it in a strong position to launch its next generation mobile network. During O’Reilly’s time as CTO, O2 has won a number of awards for the quality of its mobile networks in the UK. 
Shaima Othman Al-Najdi, Acting CTO, Ooredoo Kuwait
Ooredoo is one of the world’s leading telcos when it comes to innovation and network excellence. In her role as CTO, Al-Najdi has overseen a 61 per cent growth in data traffic on Ooredoo’s networks, a 41 per cent improvement in user throughput and 51 per cent growth in network throughput. Kuwait remains an important market for Ooredoo as it looks to expand its presence across the region. 
Kevin Paige, CTO, M247
During his tenure as CTO at M247, Paige has played a key role in shaping the company’s vision. M247 now boasts one of the most extensive internet exchange footprints in the world, with 57 strategic datacentres, boasting over 10,000 customers across 110 countries. Paige has helped the company to offer a full suite of solutions, including numerous ‘as a service’ products.
Ajay Joseph, CTO, iBasis
Joseph brings over thirty years of telecoms experience to the role of CTO, including a decade in the hotseat at iBasis. Joseph has led the technical strategy and engineering of the iBasis global network and underlying systems. He is also responsible for driving innovation within iBasis. While developing iBasis’ Global Access for Things solution he successfully built partnerships to create one unified platform for seamless, remote, programmable, and secure provisioning management and data analytics, which drew on GSMA-standard eSIM/eUICC technology.
The World Communication Awards 2019 will be held on the 30th October 2019, at London’s De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms.
CTO of the Year is sponsored by Tata Communications Transformation Services (TCTS), a 100% subsidiary of Tata Communications Ltd, provides business transformation, managed network operations, network outsourcing, and consultancy services to telecommunication companies around the world.
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