West Midlands 5G (WM5G) Limited has appointed Suvo Datta as Finance Director to lead the financial management of the UK’s first region-wide 5G testbed.

The organisation, set-up to deliver the UK’s first region-wide 5G testbed, is backed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to accelerate the deployment of 5G networks and  scale new 5G services across the West Midlands.

Datta joins the business as it enters full delivery to build the UK’s most connected 5G region as well as testing, proving and starting to scale major new 5G services to accelerate economic and social recovery in the region.

This includes the launches of the UK’s first 5G Accelerators in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry, the UK’s first 5G Transport testbed and the continued success of WM5G’s 5G network acceleration programme – working in partnership with local authorities and mobile network operators.

The new appointment brings more than 15 years of experience spanning across senior leadership roles in finance, sales and general management in large multinationals, including Telefónica UK (O2), Vodafone and Deloitte.

Most recently he was the General Manager of Smart Insurance at Telefónica UK (O2) and previously held multiple senior leadership roles in finance, marketing and digital functions within the organisation.

In his new role as Financial Director, Datta will assume responsibility for leading and developing WM5G’s strategic business plan, annual budget and liaising with public and private funders.

He succeeds Laurence Goldberg, who has acted as Interim Finance Director since December 2019.

On his appointment, Datta said: “I’m thrilled to be taking on this role at such an exciting time for WM5G. This is a truly innovative organisation, driving digital transformation across the West Midlands.

“Having developed and delivered financial and strategic plans, long-term investment strategies and key partnerships at both Telefónica and Vodafone, I hope I can bring a wealth of expertise to WM5G and help to enhance its operations, strengthened by efficient financial management.”

Robert Franks, Managing Director at WM5G, added: “I’m delighted to welcome Suvo to WM5G’s leadership team as our new Finance Director. Suvo brings extensive financial, telecoms and leadership experience and will support our strategic plan as we look to ramp up our delivery and collaborate with more organisations of all sizes at a regional and national level.”