Graham Payne departs in management reshuffle at MBNL

UK network joint venture MBNL, created by T-Mobile and 3UK in 2007 and now owned by 3 with EE, has installed a new management team as the organisation shifts from the integration of the various UK networks held by its parents to an operational and cost-control model. Graham Payne, MBNL’s managing director and financial director Brian More O’Ferrall, are to leave the company, to be replaced by Pat Coxen of EE and Gervase King of 3UK.

In a statement released only on request EE said that the next phase of MBNL’s operation will see it “responsible for ongoing service management and financial control on behalf of both mobile networks [EE and 3UK], ensuring they are able to compete effectively in the market for mobile internet connectivity.”

The statement continued: “As part of this shift of emphasis, Graham Payne and Brian More O’Ferrall have decided to leave the company to pursue new opportunities.” Payne will remain in place throughout a six-month handover period, however.

The original project to merge the 3G networks of 3UK and T-Mobile UK was completed in November 2010. Shortly after this attention turned to the integration of the Orange UK assets in the wake of the creation of Everything Everywhere, later to become EE. In November 2010 Payne told the first phase of the project, which consolidated 12,000 cell sites and decommissioned a further 5,000, was the biggest project he’d undertaken.“In terms of the scale, and the transformation of the networks of T-Mobile and 3, it’s an absolutely monumental project,” he said.

Graham Baxter, chairman of MBNL, said that the work undertaken by MBNL during Payne’s tenure offered “a global case study for network sharing and consolidation initiatives,” while EE CEO Olaf Swantee said Payne had delivered “one of the most challenging yet successful 3G integration programmes across the world.”

Payne said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my five years at MBNL and…I am immensely proud of what has been achieved on some very technical and challenging programmes.”

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