Stephen Temple is an engineer by profession and has spent 25 years in the Civil Service (rising to a senior position in the Home Office and DTI) and 18 years in the private sector (rising to Director level including Board level).

Stephen Temple 2

Whilst at the DTI he was at the heart of digitalising Europe’s mobile and television networks. He led for the UK in the highly successful GSM initiative. Together with officials from France, Germany and Italy, he helped to create the mobile revolution (See WWW.GSMHistory.Com). He wrote the GSM Memorandum of Understanding that established the powerful mobile generation change model where all the mobile operators “jump together” to create instant massive scale economies. He co-founded the DVB group that set Europe’s path to digital TV. He chaired the Technical Assembly of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute from 1988-92. Within Whitehall he fought open up the 1800 MHz bands for mobile radio that allowed Orange and T-Mobile to emerge. That inadvertently landed him in the eye of the storm of the world’s first mobile phone health scare. He wrote the visionary DTI Consultation Document “Phones on the Move” which has been widely recognised as triggering the transformation of the mobile phone into a consumer mass market product. Later he headed up one of the Sponsorship Branches set up by Michael Heseltine in a new approach to industrial policy. He was the driving force behind the UK adopting digital terrestrial TV (as a competitive counter-balance to the Sky platform) that later became Freeview.

In the private sector he was Director of Advanced Technologies at ntl (taking into trials their first cable modem service that sparked BT to move from their ISDN to ADSL). He set ntl’s digital cable technology strategy to deliver a very high quality of service. He was later Managing Director of the Networks Division and helped the company through its restructuring. He later joined Vodafone’s corporate strategy group where he was Director of Strategic Projects, which included developing Vodafone’s broadband strategy (the battle for the home) , innovation strategy and mobile TV.

Over his career he played a role in shaping and accelerating the digitalisation of all the UK’s public access networks – fixed, mobile, TV and Sound Radio. His role in ETSI and GSM was to have a profound impact on European and global telecommunications that still reverberate today.

Since retiring from industry he has advised on telecoms public policy and sits on the IET Communications Policy Panel, is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineers  and is a visiting Professor at the University of Surrey 5G Innovation Centre (where he is Technical Secretary of their Strategic Advisory Board). He represented the University of Surrey on Euro5G to helped unblock the logjam on spectrum for 5G in Europe that occurred in 2015. He proposed that the use of the “higher” frequency for 5G was hopelessly uneconomic for 5G coverage and came up with the proposal for the three 5G “Pioneer Bands”, where each would do a very different job.  This was liked by European industry, regulators and the Commission and added to the EU 5G Action Plan adopted in 2016. One of the lower frequencies he proposed has become the band of choice for 5G deployment in Europe and beyond.