mobile architecture connected places

Working Groups

Connected Places

If the adoption of 5G technologies by the UK is to be accelerated, a key area of focus is on places, and particularly the ability of Local Authorities to work with their partners in communications, infrastructure, investment, public service and business to secure digital infrastructure for their regions and encourage its use.

DCMS 5G Trial initiatives such as the Urban Connected Community project (WM5G) and the upcoming Rural Connected Community projects are designed to accelerate adoption and to prove business cases for 5G approaches in a variety of industries, including the digitalisation of public services. Of necessity, these programmes are specific to geographical areas or domains.

There is a general need to develop cross-sector understanding of the commercialisation of 5G, the transformation of services it enables, and the links to placemaking whilst these projects are in progress. The sharing of learning and insights, and the development of common approaches and toolsets, an understanding of barriers to adoption, drawing on global best practice, would be helpful.

The UK5G Connected Places Working Group wishes to enable the dissemination of best practice and use cases, and to build a community of interest. A number of Advisory Board members, and Associate Partners (for example the Connected Places Catapult & BSI) are working actively in this space already. The UK5G Connected Places Working Group will leverage these relationships to share the benefits of 5G between Places. The Working Group will advise on the development a viable and achievable plan for encouraging the adoption of 5G technologies in places.

Core Working Group documents

Working group champions

  • Ammar Khalid
    Strategy Manager

    An experienced and accomplished technical manager with a solid understanding of the telecommunications sector and its respective commercialization.

    I have in-depth experience and delivery track record in the introduction and commercialization of new cellular technologies and services in accordance with industry standards and compliance. 

    I am currently working as a Strategy Manager within Telefonica O2 UK over future technologies and its commercialization. My specialities include technology strategy, project management, test & integration, technology standards & regulatory compliance, subject matter expert role for cellular technologies. 


  • Andrew Roughan
    Managing Director

    An experienced business leader, Andrew was the commercial director for data centre business Infinity SDC and general manager for telecoms company Cable & Wireless before joining Here East – which he launched together with its CEO Gavin Poole. While attending the London 2012 Olympic Games, the duo had a bold vision for a diverse tech cluster for east London after the games wrapped up – a place where corporates, startups, scaleups, academics and creatives could come together. Andrew and Gavin have been behind the development of Here East since, and have helped shape the launch of Plexal as Here East’s innovation nerve centre.

  • Ann Williams
    Commissioning and Contracts Manager of Adult Social Services
    Liverpool City Council

    Ann Williams is Commissioning and Contracts Manager of Adult Social services at Liverpool City Council, where she finds innovative ways to deliver care against a decreasing budget and increasing needs.

    Ann has played a lead role in securing the 5G testbed trial for Health and Social Care at Liverpool. As part of the EU’s STOP&GO programme she focused on digitalising domiciliary care services and introducing IoT sensors to homes. She worked in local and regional Citizen Advice Bureau management for 19 years.

    Ann is driven by a strong sense of social justice. Working with the most marginalised in society has heightened her awareness of societal inequalities and the current financial challenges to household and public budgets.

    Ann is a member of Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) Advisory Committee on Microbiological Safety of Food and of the Campylobacter Group, where she’s working on a report into controlling campylobacter in food supplies. She is Vice Chair of Liverpool’s Central Local Research Ethics Committee and a core member of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Public Health Advisory Group.

  • Craig Bower
    Programme Director
    Oxfordshire County Council

    Manage all delivery aspects of £35m Oxfordshire/BDUK/BT Better Broadband programme. Consult on a range of transformation initiatives, focussing on ICT enabled business change. This includes digitisation, business strategy, service transformation, and service commissioning. I am also responsible for developing effective working relationships with Health, Police, and other key Oxfordshire stakeholders.

  • Dave Kinshott
    5G Infrastructure Acceleration Consultant
    West Midlands 5G

    Dave is an energetic and driven professional with 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications sector. He has held senior positions including Operations Director of a start-up company and Solution Consultant for a large multinational. He has a passion for delivering change and looking for new solutions to old problems.

    His current engagement is within the Infrastructure Acceleration team at the Urban Connected Communities 5G testbed (West Midland 5G) where he manages the Shared and Neutral host strategy for public assets. The aim of the region-wide programme is to accelerate and test, prove and scale 5G to deliver 5G innovation and a legacy within the region but also so that the key findings and lessons learnt can be implemented throughout the UK.

  • David Cuckow
    Head of Digital Sector

    Responsible for the National Standards Body (NSB) global strategy on all things digital, the development and implementation of the sector’s market engagement. Supporting cross-sector industries and government stakeholders to innovate by accelerating the adoption of digital technologies, identifying and codifying excellence in order to transform and improve business, process and culture for both social and economic benefit.

    Convening and engaging with key stakeholder communities in order to de-risk digital transformation initiatives across complex stakeholder value chains, identifying commons, underpinned by the development and adoption of best practice. Key programmes include 5G, IoT, AI, Future Mobility, Digital Twin, Blockchain, Autonomy, Privacy and Cyber Security.

    Our orchestrated programmatic approach to “best practice development” and its application, provides a cost-efficient way to help stakeholders learn from each other to identify, codify, share and enable best practices, support sector-wide transformation plans and the certainty of “best in class” repeatable initiatives.

  • Dejan Bojic
    Associate Director
    Connected Places Catapult

    Dejan’s main areas of expertise are development of tailored strategies for digital transformation, management of innovation partnerships, and commercial incubation of new solutions. Possessing a broad understanding of the ‘smart technology stack’ his particular background is in data and communication system platforms.

    Most recently Dejan has contributed to development of a vision and market creation strategies for digital transformation of public sector services and infrastructure, working with the UK central and local government to accelerate national adoption of 5G and data science technologies.

    Recent highlights have included West Midlands 5G (WM5G) and 5G Urban Connected Communities (UCC) project with the UK Government department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sports (DCMS), and development and launch of 5G Action Learning Network (ALN) with the Connected Places Catapult. Dejan has also consulted a number of local authorities in the UK on adoption of smart services and advanced connectivity

  • Robinson Robinson
    Director of Smart Places, Digital Infrastructure and Telecommunications

    Chair of the UK5G Connected Places Working Group

    Dr. Rick Robinson is Director of Smart Places, Digital Infrastructure and Telecommunications for Jacobs. He advises cities, infrastructure operators, property developers and investors on the use of technology to improve buildings, infrastructure, places, communities and business and organisational performance. Previously, he has led Smart Cities businesses for Arup and IBM, and was Director of Technology for Amey, where he was responsible for driving advances in digital technology into public services and infrastructure that are used by about 1 in 4 people in the UK every day. Rick collaborates with a network of technology entrepreneurs, Universities and social institutions to explore innovations in digital technology, and has advised the UK Government and United Nations on their impact on the built environment, economy, communities and society. 

    Rick is a member of the UK5G Steering Group, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the RSA and a member of the Academy of Urbanism. I write about my work (when I have the time!) at

  • Eman Martin-Vignerte

    Deputy Chair of the UK5G Connected Places Working Group

    I lead on policies and strategies which are vital for effective business management. I work together with my team to develop market strategy and make analytical judgements for smart cities and innovative technological approach using different business models.

    As a technically minded person through my engineering and work experience, I worked within Bosch group in several technical as well as sales positions mainly in the healthcare and automotive sector.

    I am board member at Buckinghamshire LEP. I am one of the judges and member at Pitch&Palace to promote and mentor start-ups. I am board member at LowCVP association to promote climate change innovation. Do connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • Gary Thompson
    Director of Development
    Staffordshire University

    Gary Thompson is Director of Development at Staffordshire University, with a strong background in Full Fibre Networks and 5G. He has a strong commercial and technical background spanning 25 years covering a range of Multi-Million Innovation, Digital and Economic Development programmes. 

    Recently working for Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the 5G Innovation Centre from the University of Surrey and other partners, he created a vision and strategy for a 5G Region.

    With Sir Terry Matthews and Simon Gibson of Wesley Clover created the original business case for "The Internet Coast" for the Swansea Bay City Region £1.3bn City Deal. He has worked as Chief Investment Officer for Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and developed an International Internet Gateway and Multi-Terabit Fibre Spine plan for the Cardiff Capital Region.

    His early career with Marconi ignited his passion for communications systems and the way they connect people, places and their future prosperity to make the best of every available economic opportunity. 

    He is excited about the transformative affect communicating using Full Fibre Networks and 5G will have on the development of new economies in Future Energy Systems, Health and Precision Medicine, Autonomous Vehicles and Advanced Manufacturing.

  • Glenn Peacey
    Programme Director
    Hampshire County Council
  • Graham Pinfield
    Smart Perth Project Coordinator
    Perth and Kinross Council
  • Graham Thrower
    Head of Infrastructure and Investment
    Urban Foresight
  • John Okas
    Strategic Wireless Consultant
    Real Wireless
  • Keith Miller
    Pendragon Management
  • Fin Kelly
    Broadband and Smart Cities Strategic Lead
    West London Alliance

    Experienced programme leader specialised in property, infrastructure and innovation organisations, with a strong track record of overcoming complex challenges to achieve long lasting impact.

    My career has progressed from urban design through to property development and technology innovation working across the public and private sector in senior commercial and R+D roles. This enables me to understand the viewpoints of a wide range of stakeholders and work collaboratively to develop unique and replicable solutions.


  • Michael Davey
    Technical Consultant
    Connecting Norfolk
  • Nathan Pierce
    Programme Director
    Smart Cities

    Based in the Greater London Authority in the UK, Nathan Pierce is the Programme Director for Sharing Cities, a pan-European programme that tests out innovative smart city solutions across a number of major European cities, replicating and scaling what works through new business and investment models. He is also the Head of the Smart London team and is responsible for delivering the Mayors Smart London Roadmap. Nathan has 15 years’ experience across a range of public sector bodies having led on major service design and commissioning projects within London and at a European level. Nathan is determined to improve the lives of regular people by finding innovative ways to make government more sustainable, efficient and citizen focused.

  • Noelle Godfrey
    Programme Director
    Cambridgeshire County Council

    Noelle Godfrey leads the Connecting Cambridgeshire Programme on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. This is a multi-agency programme to deliver a comprehensive digital connectivity strategy and smart cities approach for Cambridgeshire, which incorporates digital connectivity infrastructure rollout - including full fibre and mobile coverage - for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. As part of the programme, the Smart Cambridge initiative  brings together Cambridge based Universities, local authorities and businesses with a focus on improving the use of data and  embedding digital solutions and emerging technologies for Cambridge and the surrounding area.

  • Paul Moss
    Director & Co-Founder

    Paul has more than 30 years experience bringing new technology products and services to market and has a number of industry firsts to his name, including launching the world’s first secure mobile banking service, revolutionising the UK mobile industry with the launch of the first SaaS entertainment portal with Virgin Mobile, and launching new 3G and 4G devices & services internationally with leading mobile operators including Vodafone, Telefonica & Orange.

    Paul has held senior sales management & strategic business development roles and grown domestic and international business for leading technology brands and innovative start-ups including Mercury, NEC, Toshiba, InfoSpace and RootMetrics (IHS Markit). 

    Paul is Director and Co-Founder of technology and innovation consulting firm provides a technology concierge service, delivering on the demand for tailored, laser-focused innovation scouting. We enable organisations to rapidly discover technologies to deliver operational and strategic transformation. 

    Paul has recently accepted an invitation to join UK5G's Connected Places Working Group.

  • Sarah Robb
    Head of Regional
    Digital Catapult
  • Ste Ashton
    Programme Manager Economy & Infrastructure
    Worcestershire County Council
  • Sig Mikladal
    Senior Project Manager and 5G in Healthcare Lead
  • Steve Bromham
    Save9 Limited

    Co-founder of Save9 Ltd, a UK-based company delivering a range of exceptional Internet services – Rural Broadband, Hosted IT Provision and Cybersecurity – helping business and residential customers achieve more with faster internet connectivity, improved productivity and better data security.

    MBA (Master of Business Administration) qualified and PRINCE2 Practitioner with a successful track record of managerial and consultative roles in both private and public sector IT infrastructure deployments. Market sector experience includes healthcare, government, professional services, finance, retail, telecoms and manufacturing.

    An experienced leader with expertise in leading and motivating people - looking to partner with organisations to advise, manage or deliver new business innovation projects - with a focus on information security, embedding sustained IT/staff performance and achieving maximum business value.

  • Steven Peel
    Senior Executive - Urban Innovation
  • Tom Allen
    Cube Ultra

    Tom is a highly experienced, committed and enthusiastic consultant with 25 years’ experience, who thrives on creating and running high performance teams and personally developing and delivering strategies that make a real difference.

    Tom’s experienced includes working in Africa, Europe, Middle East and Far East. His experience is hands on and cutting edge having spent four years as the Group COO for Smile Telecoms, playing a pivotal role in the strategic planning, fund raising and the “Hands-On” building of the network and operations of Smile’s 4G LTE start-ups in Africa.

    Tom believes strongly that great leadership and innovation is a fundamental key for success.

  • Tony Sceales
    Head of Programme Development, 5G Programmes
    Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

    Tony has spent over 25 years in the telecoms and technology industries, working on major projects at global firms including BT, IBM, Telstra, KPN, Swisscom, Prudential and China Gas, as well as with growth startup innovators.
    He is an Ambassador and former Executive Committee member of the TM Forum, and collaborated in producing some of the key thinking around partnership business models and B2B2X trading.
    His role at DCMS is to drive engagement with key players across industry sectors to encourage successful 5G investment and adoption in the UK.

  • Vassilis Seferidis
    Zeetta Networks

    Vassilis Seferidis is the CEO and Founder of Zeetta Networks, an innovative spin-out from the University of Bristol, offering Open Networking solutions that monitor, manage and automate the operations of ICT networks and extract greater efficiency and agility while enhancing the end-user experience and reduce the overall networking costs.

    Vassilis has more than 25 years’ experience in the Telecommunications and Consumer Electronics industry. Before founding Zeetta Networks, Vassilis was VP of Business Development for Samsung Electronics responsible for driving revenue growth and strategic development of Samsung’s Smart TV business in Europe. 

    While in Samsung, Vassilis was  included in the Euro50 list of the 50 most influential people in the broadband and Telecommunications industries in Europe for his work in establishing Samsung’s Smart TV platform in Europe:

    Prior to Samsung, he held executive positions at BT, Toshiba, Philips, QIO Systems and British Standards Institute.

  • Wenbing Yao
    Vice President, Business Development and Partnerships

    Wenbing Yao joined Huawei UK in 2008 and took up the role of VP Business Development and Partnerships in April 2018. Since 2017, Wenbing has been with Huawei Corporate Elite Program on telco network and business transformation, driving strategic projects on NFV, SDN and automation with tier one network operators. Between 2012 and 2016, Wenbing was the Director of Strategy and Marketing, responsible for developing the mid and long term business strategy for Huawei UK; driving strategic business development in areas including 5G, IoT, Smart City, Big Data, Data Centre IT and infrastructure; leading joint innovations with key telecom customers and organising market communication activities. Before 2012, Wenbing held various positions in a global account in Huawei, leading the solution marketing and industry and research collaborations team.

    Wenbing received her Ph.D degree in Communication and Information Systems from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, P.R.China, in 2001. She was a lecturer in wireless communications at Brunel University from 2003 to 2008, and a research fellow from 2002 to 2003 in heterogeneous networking technologies and mobile healthcare systems.

  • Xavier Priem
    Senior Research Fellow
    The University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab
  • Geoffrey Stevens
    Urban Technology Lead
    Connected Places Catapult