Ericsson PH takes in new boss as outgoing chief moves to Mexico

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The local office of network equipment maker Ericsson will be led by a new country manager starting August 1 as outgoing head Elie Hanna concludes his tour of duty in the Philippines after four years at the helm of the company.

Hanna, an Israeli who will now take up a new role in Mexico, will be replaced by Irishman Sean Gowran, who was previously based Beijing as executive vice president for Ericsson Greater China.

Outgoing Ericsson PH chief Elie Hanna (left) with his successor Sean Gowran
Outgoing Ericsson PH chief Elie Hanna (left) with his successor Sean Gowran

Gowran, who joined Ericsson in 1987 directly after completing university studies in Ireland, has a degree in mathematics and computer science from University College Dublin.

From 1987 to 1995, he worked in research and development in Ireland, Mexico, and Sweden. He started his sales career in 1995 and moved to Indonesia in early 2006 where he was responsible for customer solutions.

In year 2000, Gowran was responsible for business development in Asia, Europe and Africa for Ericsson?s CDMA business unit, based in California. In 2003, he was vice president and CTO with Ericsson US, based in New York City. In 2005, he was appointed president of Ericsson Taiwan.

Hanna made his final appearance as Ericsson Philippines chief during a recent press briefing wherein the company released its third South East Asia and Oceania Region Appendix to its annual Ericsson Mobility Report. The appendix illustrates regional contrasts in areas such as smartphone uptake, top app usage, access to LTE, and network performance.

Among the findings of the report are:

? The smartphone penetration in the Philippines at the end of 2014 was around 30 percent and is expected to be at around 40 percent at the end of 2015

? Almost two-thirds of mobile phone subscriptions in South East Asia and Oceania will be using smartphones by 2020

? By 2020, mobile traffic in the region will multiply nine times reaching three Exabytesmonth

? Applications for social networking, instant messaging, and video streaming dominate smartphone usage. Facebook and YouTube are consistently in the top five mobile apps in the countries analyzed, including the Philippines

The report also showed that mature markets such as Australia and Singapore, where LTE is widely available, have a very high mobile broadband penetration, already exceeding 90 percent.

Developing markets on the other hand, still have a long way to go, which offers a unique opportunity for mobile operators to enhance the mobile broadband experience for users.

Afrizal Abdul Rahim, Ericsson head of ConsumerLab for Region South East Asia and Oceania, said: ?The increasing availability of affordable smartphones, Internet access and mobility is enabling more consumers to access the benefits of the Networked Society. In fact, in the Philippines smartphones are the primary way of getting online?.

?Today in South East Asia and Oceania, 25 percent of handsets are smartphones. We predict that by 2020, smartphone subscriptions will grow three times to almost 800 million in the region, while LTE and 3G subscriptions will constitute almost 25 and 70 percent, respectively, of regional mobile subscriptions by 2020,? Afrizal said.

For service providers, the report said delivering a consistent user experience aligned with the most popular apps can help drive customer satisfaction. In order to do this, it recommended operators to optimize and tune their networks to ensure users? particular app coverage demands are catered for in different traffic situations and geographical areas.

Countries in the region with the best network performance are Australia and Singapore, due to their leadership in deploying LTE and LTE Advanced. This has meant that the gap in network performance with other countries across the region has widened.

?However, we expect developing countries? networks will greatly improve in performance over the coming years?, Afrizal concluded.

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