Thursday, April 30, 2020

This AMD Ryzen mini PC has a unique, exciting feature no other computer has

A brand we’ve never heard of before has come up with a product we’ve never seen before. Maxtang from Aliexpress sells a mini PC that runs on an embedded AMD Ryzen chip - the V1605B - with four, yes four, DisplayPort connectors. We don’t know any other PC that offers this, let alone something that doesn’t require a separate display card or as small as this box.

This Maxtang thin client costs as little as $410.92 from Aliexpress after a $3 coupon. That price is for the barebone model and note that this device ships without any operating system or Wi-Fi module. Other RAM/Storage bundles are available. Please check the website.

Exact prices after the discount in other territories will vary depending on the day’s exchange rate. Aliexpress ships to most territories worldwide via expedited shipping although you may be levied additional charges and fees by customs.

The Ryzen V1605B has four cores, eight threads, 4MB cache and a Vega 8 GPU. That makes it similar to a Ryzen 5 2500U and, according to the popular Passmark benchmark, faster than the Intel Core i5-10210U, which has a similar 15W TDP.

Other than the four display connectors (all capable of outputting to 4K), the thin client has two audio connectors, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, eight USB ports (but no Type-C) and supports two DDR4 SODIMM modules. You can add one M2 SSD and one SATA drive (SSD or HDD) as well.

It weighs a mere 1kg and measures only 18x18.2x3.7cm - that’s just over 1,200cc!

HTC has launched a free VR rival to Zoom and Teams

Businesses around the world have turned to video conferencing software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams as a means to hold meetings during the coronavirus outbreak but interacting with coworkers does prove somewhat difficult when behind a webcam.

This is why HTC has announced that the beta version of its remote collaboration and meeting platform for VR, VIVE Sync will be available free of charge for businesses and remote employees during the pandemic.

VIVE Sync, from first-party developer 2 Bears Studio and HTC, supports up to 30 attendees simultaneously and features full body tracking so that participant's personally created avatars can communicate using their actual body language. 

The platform also supports Tobii eye tracking, which is embedded in headsets such as the VIVE Pro Eye, for more natural lifelike interactions with virtual colleagues or clients.

VIVE Sync

Working with your company's files in VR is also easy as Sync integrates with Microsoft OneDrive and OneDrive for business and supports many popular file formats from PowerPoints to PDFs to videos.

However, one of the biggest advantages that VIVE Sync offers is the ability to work with 3D content in VR. Instead of looking at 3D models on a 2D screen as you would with other video conferencing services, Sync lets you bring them into your virtual space and review them together with your team. The software supports FBX and OBJ files, as well as Unity Asset Bundles, which makes it easy to upload, import and review all of your 3D assets.

If you and your team have access to VR headsets and have grown tired of staring at a screen all day long, you can test VIVE Sync out for yourself for free beginning on April 30.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2: everything we know so far

If you've finished Final Fantasy 7 Remake, you may be wondering when Part 2 of the game will be releasing.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a re-imagining of classic '90s JRPG Final Fantasy 7. But, rather than releasing the remake as one single title, developer Square Enix has opted to release the remake as a series of games instead - with the first part releasing in April, 2020.

While Square Enix announced in November 2019 that development on Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 has started, the company hasn't confirmed a release date for the second part of the game; and, unfortunately, we're expecting a wait of at least a few years.

While we wait, we've rounded up everything we know about Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 so far, including news, rumors and what we're hoping to see in the second game.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The second part of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake
  • When can I play it? TBC
  • What can I play it on? TBC but likely PS4 and PS5
  • How many parts will Final Fantasy 7 Remake have? This hasn't been confirmed

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 release date

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

While we know that Square Enix has already started work on Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2, the developer hasn't confirmed when it will release. But it looks like it'll be a while before we get to play it. 

Final Fantasy 7 Remake didn't release until five years after it was announced. However, we're not expecting another five year wait for part 2 as Square Enix has now built the foundation of the game. In addition, a a Square Enix representative told IGN that "the development team is planning the volume of content for the second part of the series, and that the team anticipates that the development of the second game will be more efficient".

While we don't think we'll be waiting for not waiting as long as five years, it will definitely be a few years before we see the second part of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

Square Enix has previously compared Final Fantasy 7 Remake to Final Fantasy 13 - which released (essentially) in three parts, with roughly a two year gap between each of the entries. If Final Fantasy 7 Remake is going to be anything like that, then we're looking at around a two year wait until part 2 - meaning we may not see it until at least 2022.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 news and rumors

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Production has already started
In November 2019, director Tetsuya Nomura announced that work on Final Fantasy 7 Part 2 has already started.

"We’ve already begun working on the next one as well, but I’m confident that playing through this title will expand your expectations just like the world that extends beyond Midgar," Nomura said.

Hints in Final Fantasy Remake about what's coming next
In an interview with Famitsu (translated by DualShockers) Final Fantasy 7 Remake producer, Yoshinori Kitase, teased that there are hints in the game that allude to what may happen in the the second part.

"With this first game, we showed how there is great potential for the future, and we included many hints regarding what’s coming next," Kitase said. "I’m looking forward to seeing the fans’ theories on social media regarding what could happen now."

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2: what we want to see

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

This tiny touchscreen Windows laptop is surprisingly cheap

Convertible laptops tend to carry a significant premium over their traditional siblings. A new laptop however bucks that trend; the Nanote will only be sold in Japan for 19,800 yen (that’s about US$185, £149 or AU$285).

Its unique selling point is its unbelievably tiny price tag that’s matched by an equally small screen - a 7-inch touchscreen display - and its 360-degree hinge. The Nanote resembles the Chuwi Minibook we reviewed last year but is even smaller (181 x 114 x 19.6mm and a weight of 520g) and has the same physical constraints.

There’s no trackpad - only an optical touch sensor - and the keyboard is cramped. The rest of the specification makes it painfully obvious that corners had to be cut to keep the price down; there’s a 5-year old Intel Atom x5-Z8350 paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB eMMC storage. 

The rest of the specs isn’t too shabby: the screen has a 1920 x 1200pixel resolution, there’s a microHDMI port, 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card reader, a USB 3.0 port, a USB Type-C port, a 5,000 mAh battery, a VGA webcam, 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. 

It is manufactured by a Japanese company and it is very unlikely that it will be available outside of that country for now.

Via Liliputing

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The best Microsoft Surface Go alternative right now is great for remote working

Chuwi’s UBook Pro is probably the best alternative to the Surface Go that Microsoft seems to have retired. All stocks of the diminutive tablet are currently out of stock and have been so for a while. You can still get it from third parties, often at a much higher price.

Gearbest sells the Chuwi UBook Pro for $399.99 (or £340/AU$670) when you use the coupon code GBCHUWI123. Exact prices after the discount in other territories will vary depending on the day’s exchange rate. Gearbest ships to most territories worldwide via expedited shipping although you may be levied additional charges and fees by customs.

Add the capacitive stylus pen and the original keyboard cover and the price creeps up to just under $470, which is still far lower than the 128GB version of the Surface Go (that comes without accessories).

What do you get for your money? A Gemini Lake-based Intel Celeron N4100 that is significantly faster than the Pentium 4415Y (based on CPUBenchmark numbers), 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD - that’s twice the storage capacity of the Surface Go, a 12.3-inch display with a full HD resolution.

The Surface Go has a smaller display size so, understandably, it is lighter and has a smaller footprint. The camera sensors on Microsoft’s tablet have a higher resolution but the UBook Pro has more connectors (including a useful HDMI one). This means you won’t mean any docking station to connect to a monitor.

Leadership in times of crisis: three ways to build resilience

There is no leadership manual for dealing with a once-in-a-century global health emergency—no script to guide what you should say to team members, customers, and stakeholders in your business. 

Right now, everyone’s leadership skills are being tested in ways we could have barely imagined a month ago. It’s not just a question of how resilient our organisations are and how quickly they can adapt to lockdowns and restrictions on travel. It’s a challenge to our resilience as human beings. 

When Stewart Butterfield, the founder of Slack, tweeted the story in recent days of how his business was responding to the Covid-19 emergency, he prefaced his comments with a simple introductory note: “I’m a human. I worry about my family and am deeply concerned about the millions whose jobs and health are at risk.” It was the right starting note.

I’ve always believed that great leadership is forged in the crucible of adversity, but great leaders are those who respond with empathy and vulnerability even when making the toughest decisions. We all need reserves of determination and positivity at precisely the moments those qualities are stretched thin.

Where do those reserves come from? Here are four ways to build resilience:

Own your resilience

Meet one of the most remarkable people I know, Debra Searle. She is a successful entrepreneur, author, and television presenter—and she’s been twice-honoured by the Queen for her achievements in her native UK and beyond. She has a mental toolkit that served her well through one of the toughest tests imaginable: rowing across 3,000 miles of ocean by herself in a boat built for two. 

Debra’s tips range from “running the movie”— visualise yourself confronting and overcoming the challenging times ahead—to choosing your attitude every day.

“This is the one thing I had a choice about,” Debra says. “Every day I made an attitude choice: I said it out loud. It had to be a positive attitude. Negative attitudes were banned on the boat.”

Keep communicating

Keep talking. Keep listening. Our team has been communicating openly on multiple channels as the coronavirus crisis has developed and after the decision to ask staff to work remotely. There are virtual meetings, recorded sessions, emails, and I’ve opened my schedule to anyone in the business to book time for a conversation. And those conversations have ranged from the current crisis, to our customer response, to just having a laugh about our home office hijinks.  

The most important message is how to embrace the ‘“new normal’” for the entire team. We all need to prioritise and support our family during times like these. For some, the new normal might look like two working adults competing for internet bandwidth at home taking turns to respond to the cries of a toddler or two. For others, it might be taking care of at-risk parents or relatives. But whatever the new normal is for each colleague, there’s one thing they all needed to know from their leader: prioritise your family and your wellbeing. If anything has to give in life right now, let it be work.

When it's all done, reflect and learn

When this crisis abates—and it will in time—the temptation is for leaders to rush ahead without a backward glance. But part of resilience is learning lessons. Former US Navy SEAL Commander Mark McGinnis describes this as part of the “Corporate Battle Rhythm”—a full cycle of planning, briefing, execution and debriefing.

“After a mission, we come together immediately in a very hallowed environment where there’s no rank, no blame, no privilege, no seniority, and we sit down and talk unemotionally about the successes and failures of the mission.  It’s important to capture both,” he says.

“The successes because we want to continue to do things that are working and the failures because we can’t afford to make the same mistake twice. If we repeat mistakes in my world it has catastrophic results.” 

And the outcome of a SEAL team’s debrief isn’t just kept within the mission squad. The lessons are open to every SEAL, from the top to bottom rank. “I’m accelerating everyone’s experience, whether they’re going out and doing operations or not,” says Mark.

Take the time to reflect and hold a debrief; no two crises are the same, but there will be lessons to learn from your organisation’s response to Covid-19.

Lead as though your children are watching

In essence, times of crisis challenge leaders to be the best versions of themselves. I’m reminded of an idea that Sean Pederson of Trek Bicycles came up with a few years ago: “Lead as though your children are watching.” It’s great advice. And right now, if you’re reading this while you’re working at home, they probably are.

Alex Shootman is CEO at Workfront

Monday, April 27, 2020

The best value 15-inch laptop out there has a surprising design that will split the room

15.6-inch laptops are slowly falling out of favour, pushed to the sidelines by the smaller 13.3-inch and 14-inch models, seen by many as being more portable. That form factor though has its advantages, especially if you’re after a business laptop.

A big screen means that you have more real estate for your keyboard and most 15.6-inch laptops will have a dedicated numeric keypad, a boon for bean counters, spreadsheet aficionado and those that rely on ASCII codes.

At just under $350 excluding shipping and tax, the Teclast F15 is almost certainly the best value 15.6-inch laptop on the market right now, for a number of reasons. This one has an all metal body with a large touchpad and a backlit keyboard.

The quad-core Intel Celeron N4100 CPU is paired with 8GB of LPDDR4 memory and a 256GB M2 SATA solid state drive. Don’t discard the Celeron CPU too fast; according to CPUBenchmark, it is as fast as an Intel Core i3-7020U which is no mean feat.

And that’s not all; the device is thin (only 15mm thick) and 1.8Kg in weight, with a 7mm bezel and a 91% screen-to-body ratio. How have they managed to achieve that? The engineers have brought in a barrel hinge and shove most connectors at the back. A very rare feature across laptops and for a good reason; you can’t see where you’re plugging stuff.

There’s two USB 3.0, a HDMI and one microSD port at the back with a DC socket and earphone jack on either side of the F15.

Xiaomi just patented a phone with a very weird way to avoid a notch

Smartphone manufacturers have spent the last few years coming up with new ways to get rid of the notch, but Xiaomi just patented potentially the most over-the-top solution yet; a display that splits in two and twists backward.

This weird smartphone design was spotted by 91mobiles from a patent filed with the Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). It was filed directly by Xiaomi, and it may be used for a future product.

The sketches show a tall phone with no notch, and when you need a selfie camera the top portion of the phone, including the display, horizontally twists backwards in a way that the primary array of cameras now face the user.

This means that the same set of cameras can be used for the front and the back. The contents on the display, along with the interface, are expected to adjust to the new screen size when you've flipped the camera.

When the cameras are flipped to face you to shoot selfies, the top section of the display could act as a secondary display on the back.

An example of the patent spotted by 91Mobiles

We've seen manufacturers employ a similar strategy with products like the Samsung Galaxy A80 and the Asus Zenfone 6. The solution worked well on both devices, but Xiaomi's patent takes it one step further by including a flippable screen as well as the camera.

It's worth noting that moving parts on phones aren't always the wisest option as they can hinder long-term usability of some devices.

How the display splits may also be an issue for some. If this was included on a phone today, it wouldn't allow for the section to be smooth and there would most likely be a crease of some sort running through the display.

It may be Xiaomi has found a way to avoid these issues though. Plus there's no gurantee we'll see this on a future Xiaomi smartphone as often manufacturers patent new tech like this but it won't ever be included on a released product.

DJI Mavic Air 2: release date, news and features

Launching a drone during a global lockdown might not sound like a great idea, but the DJI Mavic Air 2 is preparing for lift-off – and despite the seemingly inauspicious timing, it could well turn out to be DJI's most popular drone yet.

A mid-range follow-up to the DJI Mavic Air from 2018, it's shaping up to be an affordable 4K drone with all the beginner-friendly flying smarts we've come to expect from DJI, plus a few bonus extras.

An official DJI launch event has been scheduled for April 27 at 9.30pm EDT / 2.30am BST / 11.30am AEST. And given the DJI Mavic Air 2's packaging and controller seem to have leaked, it's fair to assume this will be for the announcement of the new drone.

If you're not familiar with DJI's drone range, the Mavic Air has traditionally been the Chinese company's mid-range model. The original version was designed for beginners and hobbyists who wanted a small, travel-friendly drone that was a bit more powerful than the more recent DJI Mavic Mini. The current model shoots 4K video and folds down into compact, 430g bundle that easily fits into a backpack.

From the recent leaks, it looks like DJI has moved slightly away from this design for the Mavic Air 2, with the new model looking more like the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Still, it is shaping up to be smaller than that model and fold down into a very portable form factor.

This means it will again sit in between the smaller DJI Mavic Mini and the pricier Mavic 2 Pro, which is currently the top pick in our best drones roundup. 

Will it stay there when the DJI Mavic Air 2 arrives? The rumors so far suggest the new model could well be the best drone for most people – here's everything we know about it so far...

DJI Mavic Air 2

DJI Mavic Air 2: release date and price

Given the major recent leak of DJI Mavic Air 2's packaging, it looks almost certain that the drone will be announced at DJI's event on April 27.

There is naturally some uncertainty about availability due to the knock-on effects of the global pandemic – even if the Mavic Air 2 is announced on April 27, it's not yet clear if it'll be immediately available to buy or instead open to pre-orders. We'll have to wait till the event to find out for sure.

What we do know, if the latest leak from DroneDJ turns out to be correct, is that the DJI Mavic Air 2 will cost $799. That's the price that the original Mavic Air launched for back in January 2018. So far, only US pricing has been leaked, but the Mavic Air was available for £769 / AU$1,299 when it first arrived, so its successor seems likely to follow suit.

This would put it almost exactly halfway between the two other current drones in DJI's lineup. The smaller, beginner-friendly DJI Mavic Mini costs $399 / £369 / AU$599, while the DJI Mavic 2 Pro hasn't moved a great deal from its original $1,599 / £1,349 / $2,499 price tag. 

This would make the new DJI Mavic the new mid-range option in its lineup, and this is backed up by the leaks so far... 

DJI Mavic Air 2


DJI Mavic Air 2: design

We now appear to have several leaked press images of the DJI Mavic Air 2, which were picked up by DroneDJ. These build on a couple of previous photo leaks and give us a good idea of what we can expect.

The earliest leaked photos of the Mavic Air 2 came from Kanzhaji in March, which appeared to show a new drone that closely resembles the Mavic 2 series, only with a smaller form factor.

Then photo leaks from Brazilian site DroneFriendly and Brazilian YouTuber Dronemodelismo (below) helped back this up. Like its predecessor, these showed a folding drone, whose four arms can neatly fold away to help it it squeeze into a backpack. 

What the latest leaks reveal is the Mavic Air 2's expected size. In particular, the handheld shot (below) reveals that while the new drone looks a lot like the Mavic 2 series, it's also significantly smaller. Perhaps not as small as the original Mavic Air, but certainly more portable and travel-friendly that the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom.

Contrary to earlier rumors, the recent leaked DJI Mavic Air 2 images suggest it will have the same obstacle avoidance sensors as its predecessor. This includes one on the front, back and underneath the drone, but it appears to lack the 360-degree vision seen on the Mavic 2 series.

That's a slight shame, but is understandable given the expected price difference between the two drones. Not that the Mavic Air 2 will be difficult to fly without those sensors – its busy underside appears to include DJI's dual vision system, infrared sensors and auxiliary LEDs to help the drone avoid obstacles and find its landing spot. 

DJI's software and Return-to-Home smarts are also very reliable, and we're expecting it to add AirSense to further improve its flying safety (more on that below). 

DJI Mavic

The latest leaked Mavic Air 2 images also give us a good look at its camera module. This camera will be held steady by a three-axis gimbal and, as the text above the lens shows, will have a new 1/2-inch CMOS sensor, which will be larger than its predecessor's 1/2.3-inch chip. That should help it retain image quality when the light begins to fade.

The Mavic Air 2's overall design also appears to have been confirmed by the most recent leak from regular DJI leaker OsitaLV on Twitter. This appears to show the drone's retail packaging, although it's still not yet clear when the Mavic Air 2 will be available to buy or how its stock has been affected by the global pandemic.

One other big change on the Mavic Air 2 appears to be its controller, which appeared in earlier leaks and will have a very different design – for both good and bad... 

DJI Mavic Air 2: controller

The latest (and perhaps last) DJI Mavic Air 2 leaks appear to reveal its new controller, which is a complete redesign from the Mavic Air's pad.

The new controller is much bigger, for a start, which may irk those who liked its predecessor's more travel-friendly design. That said, there are a couple probable improvements. One is that you'll be able to mount your phone on top of the controller, rather than below it, which makes sense to us.

DJI Mavic

The other is the controller and drone will support Ocusync 2.0. This would bring significantly improved range of at least 8km, which is a huge leap from the Mavic Air's more restrictive 2km range and would, quite literally, take the Mavic Air 2 into new territory. It should also mean a much more stable signal than its predecessor.

What about the rest of its design? Rather than a single switch in the middle for Sport mode, there now seems to be a three-way toggle for Normal, Sport and Tripod modes. The latter is a useful intelligent flight mode, which limits your drone's speed and helps you get smoother set piece shots. Sport mode, meanwhile, effectively turns DJI drones into a racing drone, allowing you to hit faster top speeds (42.5mph, in the Mavic Air's case) and keep up with fast-moving objects. 

Otherwise, the controller has the usual 'return-to-home' button, function button and battery status lights. From the photo, it also appears to have the handy screw-in joysticks, which means you can unscrew them when you're not flying so the controller slips into backpacks much more easily.

DJI Mavic

DJI Mavic Air 2: specs and features

A big leak from Brazilian website Dronemodelismo recently revealed the Mavic Air 2's user manual, which gives us a good idea of its specs.

As expected, the Mavic Air 2 will again have a three-axis gimbal, which will hold a camera capable of shooting 4K/60p video and 48MP photos (likely stitched together from a 12MP sensor).

There will also be some updated Intelligent Flight modes, including ActiveTrack 3.0, which should make it even easier for the camera to automatically track objects as you're flying.

It also looks likely that the Mavic Air 2 will a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor, which is slightly larger than its predecessor's 1/2.3-in chip, but won't quite have the light-gathering powers of the Mavic 2 Pro's one-inch sensor. 

Still, according to an even more recent leak from OsitaLV on Twitter, the Mavic Air 2 will be able to shoot 4K/60p video with a bit-rate of 120mbps, which is a step up from the Mavic Air in terms of both frame-rates and data rates. You'll also apparently be able to shoot slo-mo 1080p at 240fps, HDR video and Hyperlapses.

Another big improvement will be battery life – according to the leaked manual, the Mavic Air 2 will have a flight time of 34 minutes, which is impressive and longer than we expected from its 3,500mAh battery. That's a 13-minute boost over the original Mavic Air.

One other thing we can be sure of is that the Mavic Air 2 will have a new safety system called AirSense.

DJI said last year that all new drones it releases from 2020 (that weigh over 250g) will include AirSense tech, which receives ADS-B signals from nearby airplanes and helicopters and warns you if they're on a collision course with your drone.

DJI Mavic


Early verdict

If there was still any doubt about the DJI Mavic Air 2 launching soon, then the recent leaks of its official photos, packaging and user manual has removed that – it's now clear that the mid-range drone is very likely landing on April 27.

Of course, there are still big questions about the Mavic Air 2, with its on-sale date and availability being the main one. But we now know a lot more about it, including the fact it'll likely have far superior flying range to the original Mavic Air and a significantly better battery life.

Those who were fans of the latter's compact form might be disappointed by the Mavic Air 2's apparently much larger dimensions, but it's shaping up to be a fine choice for non-professionals who want a capable, travel-friendly drone. We'll bring you all of the official news as soon as we get it.

Mobile industry and tech channel moves for April 2020

Got some good news to share with us about your moves? Send the details to desire.athow@futurenet.com with a photo if possible.

Former PayPal CMO to lead marketing at HMD Global

HMD Global, the firm that manufactures Nokia devices under licence, has named Stephen Taylor as Chief Marketing Officer. Taylor has more nearly three decades of experience in sales and marketing having previously held positions at PayPal and Samsung.

Severina Pascu is Virgin Media's new CFO and Deputy CEO

Virgin Media has appointed  Severina Pascu as CFO and Deputy CEO. Pascu was previously at sister company UPC Switzerland. In addition to finance, she will also take on responsibility for customer service and field operations as well as logistics and supply chain, reporting to Virgin Media CEO Lutz Schüler.

Arqiva appoints Paul Donovan as CEO

Arqiva has appointed Paul Donovan as CEO with immediate effect. Donovan is currently sits as a non-executive director on the company's board and has more than 20 years experience in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors. He will work with incumbent Simon Beresford-Wylie over the next two months in order to enable a smooth transition. 

James Kitto promoted to UK & Ireland VP Sales

James Kitto has been promoted from Sales Director for UK & Ireland to UK & Ireland Vice-President of Sales at Samsung. In his expanded role, Kitto will be responsible for continuing Samsung's 5G strategy, customer loyalty efforts and the company's ecosystem proposition.

Onestream recruits ex-Mobile Phones Direct COO as CEO

Independent ISP Onestream has appointed former Mobile Phones Direct COO James Carr as CEO. Carr oversaw the £38.1 million sale of the online mobile phone retailer and will be tasked with expanding Onestream’s workforce to eighty full time employees by the end of 2020.

Pekka Lundmark replaces Rajeev Suri as Nokia CEO

Rajeev Suri will step down as Nokia CEO on September 1 and will be replaced by company alumnus Pekka Lundmark. Currently CEO of Finnish-based energy company Fortum, Lundmark was at Nokia between 1990 and 2000 and will look to deliver the firm’s 5G strategy.

Oliver Dowden is the new Culture Minister

Oliver Dowden has been named as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. He was previously Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office, having been elected as an MP in 2015.

Phil Sheppard Departs Three

Three has confirmed its director of strategy and architecture Phil Sheppard has left the company after 19 years. Sheppard plans to do some consultancy work and take some time off.

Simon Saunders joins Ofcom

Simon Saunders will join Ofcom next month as Director of Emerging Technology. Saunders was previously at Google, where he was Head of Connectivity Partnerships for EMEA. He has also held positions at Motorola and Philips, and is a visiting professor at Kings College London.

Brightstar welcomes two major arrivals

Brightstar has expanded its ranks with two major appointments. David Brassington has joined the company from TechData, where he was Business Unit Director for Mobile and CE Endpoint Solutions, while Jon Charters (pictured) has assumed the role of Head of Retail. He was previously at Sony Mobile.

Samsung Mobile UK has a new marketing director

Samsung has appointed Sharon Hegarty as IM Marketing Director for UK & Ireland. She joins from Virgin Media having previously held positions at Sky, TalkTalk. At Samsung she will drive the company's strategic approach to launch campaigns, 5G, and loyalty campaigns.

HMD Global gets new UK GM

HMD Global has promoted Omar Riaz to the position of General Manager for UK & Ireland. Riaz was previously General Manager for Sales Operations for Europe for HMD Global and has been with the company for the past three years. Ruben Lehmann has also been named as HMD Global’s VP of Europe, joining from Swiss distributor Autronic.

A1 Comms gets new Digital and Telesales head

Bobbie Bhogal has joined A1 Comms as Managing Director of Digital, overseeing the Digital Telesales business at A1 Comms. Bhogal founded e2Save.com in 1999, launched mobile phone ecommerce firm Stickee Technology, and directed Dixons Carphone Online Solutions.

Chris Millington to head Emporia's UK launch

Industry veteran Chris Millington has been appointed to oversee Emporia's expansion into the UK market in 2020. Millington will assume the role of UK & Ireland MD at the company.

Former BT CEO Gavin Patterson secures another role

Gavin Patterson has joined Purple WiFi as a non-executive director. Patterson left his role as BT CEO in January and has since assumed the position of EMEA Chairman for Salesforce

Sari Balfauf replaces Risto Siilasmaa as Nokia Chair

Risto Siilasmaa will step down as the chair of the Nokia board at the company's AGM in April. Siilasmaa joined the Nokia board in 2008 and was interim CEO between 2013 and 2014. He will be replaced by Sari Baldauf.

Fergal Donovan joins PCS Wireless

After two years as CEO of Data Select, Fergal Donovan has joined PCS Wireless as European President. During his time at Data Select, Donovan built relationships with leading manufacturers to strengthen the company's position in the UK.  In his role with, Donovan will look to grow PCS Wireless at a time of growth in the refurbished device market.

Mark Mitchison takes control at Brightstar UK

Mark Mitchison has replaced Nazish Dossa as managing director of Brightstar UK. Mitchinsoon, who has previously held positions at Samsung, Carphone Warehouse and Huawei, most was most recently a professional coach and founder of Wellbeing Executives.

Ofcom appoints interim chief executive

Ofcom has appointed Jonathan Oxley as interim Chief Executive. Oxley, who is currently Group Director for Competition and Board member for Ofcom, replaces Sharon White who is departing for John Lewis. A full time successor will be named after the General Election.

Tom Deynard is new Tesco Mobile CEO

Tom Deynard is the new CEO of MVNO Tesco Mobile. He was previously COO of Tesco's store in Malaysia, having joined the retail giant in 20125. He replaces Claire Lorians who remains with the company as Group Innovation Director.

Vodafone restructures, names CEO of tower business

Vodafone has appointed its current Rest of World CEO Vivek Badrinath as the cEO of its new European tower business. No successor to Badrinath will be sought as Vodafone is abolishing the Rest of World regional organisation and integrating it elsewhere in the company.

Former BT boss joins board of AI firm

Former BT CEO Gavin Patterson has joined the board of AI and analytics firm Fractal. Patterson, who departed BT in January, has also recently been appointed as Salesforce EMEA Chairman.

Max Taylor rejoins Vodafone

Max Taylor has rejoined Vodafone as consumer director. Taylor had previously spent a decade at EE where he was most recently Managing Director, Marketing.

Jeff Dodds steps up as Virgin Media COO

Jeff Dodds has been named as Virgin Media chief operating officer. Dodds replaces Lutz Schuler who will takeover as CEO in June.

Wilkin Lee joins Oppo

Wilkin Lee has joined Oppo as Business Development Director for the UK. Lee joins from Xiaomi having previously spent six years at Honor.

Gigaclear gets new CEO

Gareth Williams is the new CEO of Gigaclear. Williams, who was previously CEO of Interoute, replaces interim chief executive Mike Surrey.

Intel recruits Qualcomm CFO as new finance chief

Qualcomm CFO George Davis has left Intel to take up the same role at rival Intel.  Davis joined Qualcomm in 1997 and held his most recent role since 2013.

BTGS gets first Director of Media and Technology


BTGS has named Roger Woodend as its first Director of Media and Technology. Woodend has been at BT for 15 years and will head up the newly-established global team from New York City.

CityFibre names Simon Holden as Group COO


Simon Holden has been appointed to a newly created position of Group Chief Operating Officer at CityFibre, reporting directly to CEO Greg Mesch. Holden joins from Holdman Sachs, where he spent 18 years in London and New York.

A1 Comms appoints O2 alumni as Business MD

Steve Heald has been named as the new Managing Director of A1 Comms' businessn division. Heald joins from O2 where he was head of B2B direct partners.

Colt appoints new head of mobile connectivity solutions

Mark Gilmour is the new Head of Mobile Connectivity Solutions at Colt Technology Services. Most recently he was Senior Advisor for Product Line Management Cellular and Wireless at Ciena.

Philip Jansen assumes control of BT

Philip Jansen has formally succeeded Gavin Patterson as CEO of BT following a transition period. Jansen was previously co-CEO of Worldpay

Nokia names new Fixed Networks President

Nokia has named Sandra Motley as President of its Fixed Networks Business Group. Motley replaces Federico Guillén who is the new Nokia President of Customer Operations and joined the company as part of the Alcatel-Lucent merger in 2016.

Hyperoptic names new ISP Managing Director

Charles Davies is the new MD for Hyperoptic’s ISP business. Davies will work to build the Hyperoptic brand and will report to CEO Dana Tobak.

GSMA appoints new chair

Orange CEO Stephane Richard has been named the new Chair of the GSMA. He will be responsible for overseeing strategic direction that the mobile industry body.

BT Security CEO quits the company

BT Security CEO Mark Hughes is leaving his position to take on a "senior" role at another company, reports the FT. Hughes had spent 16 years at BT and will now oversee a transition period.

Worldpay co-chief Philip Jansen is new BT CEO

 BT has confirmed Worldpay joint-CEO Philip Jansen will become its new chief executive next year, ending the search for a successor to current boss Gavin Patterson. 

Tech21 promotes Colin Woodward to CEO

Mobile phone case manufacturer Tech21 has named its former marketing director and head of sales Colin Woodward as its new CEO. Woodward has 20 years experience in the technology industry having previously served at HTC and Sony

EE alumni Mansoor Hanif is the new Ofcom CTO

 

BT and EE alumnus Mansoor Hanif is Ofcom’s new Chief Technology Officer (CTO), replacing the long-serving Steve Unger who left the regulator in June.

Hanif’s new remit will be to ensure Ofcom’s work is informed by the latest developments in network technology, having previously served as head of convergence at BT-EE.

Boris Dragovic is Hyperoptic's Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer

Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) network builder Hyperoptic has appointed Boris Dragovic has been appointed as Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer. Dragovic will be responsible for helping the altnet scale and operate more efficiently as it gears up for expansion

Three CTO Bryn Jones departs

 

Three CTO Bryn Jones has left the company after six years, believing the time is right for a career and lifestyle change.

Jones joined Three in May 2012 and was responsible for network strategy, design and deployment. Prior to that he was Director of Mobile Delivery at Virgin Media.

Max Taylor departs EE as BT combines marketing roles

EE's MD of marketing Max Taylor has left company to take on a new position elsewhere. Pete Oliver has taken on the newly combined role of Marketing for BT Consumer, EE and Plusnet. Taylor had been at EE for 15 years

 Wilkin Lee departs from Honor 

Wilkin Lee has left his role as Honor UK sales and marketing director after nearly four years with the Huawei-owned smartphone maker. It is unclear where his next position will be, but Lee did say on Twitter that there were “exciting challenges” in the pipeline.

Mike Surrey is new Gigaclear CEO

Gigaclear COO Mike Surrey has been promoted to CEO following the departure of Matthew Hare. Hare, who founded the alternative network infrastructure builder, had been a champion for ultrafast broadband during his eight year tenure.

Nick Read replaces Vittorio Colao as Vodafone CEO

Nick Read will become the new CEO of Vodafone Group in October, replacing the long-serving Vittorio Colao, who spent a decade in the top job. Read is the current CFO of Vodafone Group and has previously served as the CEO of Vodafone UK.

Uber appoints former Virgin Mobile MD as head of Northern Europe

Uber has appointed the former MD of Virgin Mobile as its new head of Northern and Eastern Europe. He was previously director of electronics at Amazon UK and replaces Jo Bertram who left last year. His biggest task will be dealing with Transport for London (TfL) about renewing his licence.

Orange Business Services appoints Helmut Reisinger as CEO 

Helmut Reisinger has been promoted to CEO of Orange Business Services, replacing Thierry Bonhomme, who will retire later this year. Reisinger was previously head of international, covering the firm's business outside France, and will report directly to Orange CEO Stephane Richard.

Andrew Cantle is Unlockd's new Chief Commercial Officer

Andrew Cantle is the new chief commercial officer at mobile advertising firm Unlockd. Cantle was previously head of EMEA and APAC at GoCanvas and before that he was Australia and UK country manager at Tranglo Mobile Payments. At Unlockd, he will be tasked with growing the firm and obtaining new supply partners.

Matt Stagg swaps EE role for BT Sport Director of Mobile Strategy

EE's head of media and broadcast Matt Stagg is to take up the newly created role of BT Sport Director of Mobile Strategy. Mobile is an increasingly important platform for the broadcaster and Stagg will be tasked with growing the audience and helping identify new technologies.

Gerry McQuade to be BT Enterprise CEO

Gerry McQuade will be the first chief executive of the new BT Enterprise division when it launches on 1 October. McQuade is currently CEO of BT Wholesale and Ventures, which is to be combined with BT Business and Public Sector, whose own CEO Graeme Sutherland is to depart the company.

Paul Jacobs joins Exertis from Tech Data

Exertis has appointed Paul Jacobs to the newly created position of Director of business development and innovation, where he will be responsible for bringing new and emerging technologies that can add value to resellers. He was previously Business Unit Director at Tech Data UK.

Anson Zhang is Huawei's new UK MD

Huawei has named Anson Zhang as the new UK managing director for its consumer business. Zhang joined the company as its Finland MD in 2009 before taking up similar positions in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Ericsson names new chief legal officer

Ericsson appoints Xavier Dedullen (pictured) as it chief legal officer and head of legal affairs of compliance. He was previously Group General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Swiss-based firm LafargeHolcim. Ericsson has also appointed its CTO Erik Ekudden to its executive team.

Former Uber head is O2's new chief digital and strategy officer

Jo Bertram has been named O2's new digital and strategy officer, reporting directly to CEO Mark evans reports the FT. Bertram was head of Uber's northern European business but left last October. Since then she has been an executive in residence at tech fund EQT Ventures, a position she will retain once she joins O2 in April.

Andrew Taylor to be new Gamma Communications CEO

Andrew Taylor will take over the reins as CEO of Gamma Communications in May following the retirement of long-serving incumbent Bob Falconer. Taylor was previously CEO of Nomad Digital, which was acquired by Alstom in 2017, and before that was at Digicel where he oversaw the firm’s fixed and mobile networks in the Northern Caribbean

BT appoints new Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer

Michael Sherman

BT has hired Michael Sherman to fill the newly-created role of Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, reporting to CEO Gavin Patterson. Sherman joins from the Boston Consulting Group where he spent 11 years heading its Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) group in the US. 

Acer UK gets new head

Craig Booth

Acer has appointed a new country manager for the UK, with Craig Booth promoted from within to replace Preben Fjeld who became Lenovo’s General Manager for UK and Ireland last November.

Micron makes key appointment

Micron has appointed Raj Talluri as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobile Business Unit. He will be responsible for leading and growing Micron’s mobile business. This includes building mobile solutions to address the growing market opportunity driven by new usage models.

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