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Ericsson shuffles executive team

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Fadi Pharaon, Ericsson's new senior VP for Middle East and Africa.
Fadi Pharaon, Ericsson's new senior VP for Middle East and Africa.

Global telecommunications company Ericsson has appointed Fadi Pharaon as senior vice-president and head of market area Middle East and Africa.

He will also be a member of Ericsson’s executive team, reporting to president and CEO Börje Ekholm. Pharaon will start his new position on 1 September.

The Sweden-headquartered company, which provides communications technology and services, announced the appointment in a statement on Friday.

Pharaon is currently vice-president of networks and managed services within Ericsson’s Europe and Latin America market areas. In his new position, he will oversee 5G launches in the Middle East and Africa.

“I look forward to taking on this exciting new role and working with the team in the market area, as well as the executive team. Our ability to work closely with our customers in our market areas are key to leveraging our technology leadership in 5G,” says Pharaon.

“Fadi has the right background, experience and capability to lead the work in that market area and I am very pleased to see him stepping up to this role,” says Ekholm.

Pharaon holds an MSc degree in Computer Science from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, as well as an MBA from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Business School, Scotland.

He has more than 21 years’ experience at Ericsson and has had several management positions with sales responsibilities in markets across Asia, Europe, Middle East and Latin America.

As a member of the executive leadership team, Pharaon succeeds Rafiah Ibrahim. In March, Ericsson announced Ibrahim will leave her position as senior vice-president and head of market area Middle East and Africa on 31 August. She has held this position since 2017. She will take on a role as advisor to the CEO.

In 2017, Ericsson announced a new business strategy which included merging its Middle East and Africa business.

The company is currently focusing on working with regional telecoms companies to roll-out 5G technology.

Ekholm says the mobile industry is transforming countries and industries, and with 5G becoming a reality, the company will see new business opportunities and innovations across its markets.

“With the introduction of 5G, we are at an exciting time in the industry. Our customer relationships are key to building a strong company position in the market for this next phase of industry development.”

In the company’s mobility report released in March, Ericsson said 5G is expected to reach 30 million subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband in the Middle East and Africa by the end of 2024, representing 2% of total mobile subscriptions.

“This will make 5G the fastest generation of cellular technology to be rolled out on a global scale,” according to the Middle East and Africa edition of the report.

Key drivers for 5G deployment include increased network capacity, lower cost per gigabyte and new use case requirements.

The majority of 5G subscriptions in the Middle East and Africa are expected to come from markets such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar, while in Africa, considerable momentum is building up in South Africa, the report said.

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