Making O2 5G a reality – Elizabeth Ponsford
In October we launched our 5G network in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, London and Slough. With another 14 cities and towns before the end of 2019 and 30 more leading up to summer 2020. We’ve worked with our business customers on 5G trails and build out the 5G use cases that can help them transform their businesses.
Behind O2’s 5G rollout is a dedicated and diverse team of people, working hard to bring about 5G’s benefits to our customers.
Meet Elizabeth Ponsford – who works in New Product Development for O2 Business at O2
What do you do at O2? What part of the 5G delivery are you involved in?
I work in New Product Development for O2 Business, which involves looking for new growth opportunities outside of O2’s core offering I’m working with customers to really understand their needs and pain points, and to create new products and services that address those needs whilst also leveraging the new technological capabilities of 5G.
How did you end up doing what you do, and why O2?
My background is in business marketing, having worked in a number of ICT companies and, since 2005, I’ve had multiple roles at O2. Four years ago I moved over to Digital and New Product Development, which has been a really interesting transition.
My focus has been on future products and innovation, from new conference calling and international calling apps to insurance and connected cars. Having done a lot of new product ideation with our business customers, I was really pleased to be given the opportunity to work on 5G and explore how this can help UK businesses.
What do you see as the biggest impact that 5G will have?
At a basic level 5G will bring greater speeds and capacity for all but I believe the biggest impact will be around the new opportunities that it opens up for business. Creating new operating models, bringing vast improvements in productivity and efficiency, and enabling businesses to engage with staff and customers in a more personalised way.
What gets you energised in the morning for the day ahead?
Clichéd as it sounds, I have an incredibly diverse role and I love that every day is different. To explore 5G’s use cases, I ran workshops with our technical team to scope how we can deliver customer trials around 5G and built a prototype for a new Augmented Reality product. I’ve also met with external partners around the opportunities to be involved in 5G test beds.
How do you see your role evolving in the future?
I’m looking forward to building and launching a range of 5G products and services and hearing about how they’re helping our business customers.
How do you switch off and wind down?
I wouldn’t call it winding down but having two very energetic young boys is certainly a great distraction from the day job. And I’ve recently started running after feeling inspired (shamed) by three of my friends who completed the London Marathon this year! I shan’t be running the Marathon any time soon, but at least I’m doing some exercise!
How long would you survive a full digital detox for?
I would struggle to give up my phone completely. My life seems to be run by apps (fitness, music, diary, shopping, social life) but I did rediscover reading a proper book recently. Just focusing on the book – no distractions. It was amazing…
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