Ernest Akinola, a telecommunications executive with expansive experience in the global industry, has been appointed as the managing director/CEO of Ntel, Nigeria’s first 4G/LTE-Advanced network.
In an e-mailed statement to The Trent on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, signed by Toni Onwordi, the head of external relations, the board of the telecommunication company expressed confidence in Mr. Akinola’s leadership abilities.
Ernest is a senior executive with more than 20 years extensive experience in Telecoms Media & Technology. He joined the fledgling One 2 One telecoms operator in the UK and was instrumental in establishing a world class internal audit and compliance department.
As Head of Department he led the assessment and subsequent launch of Virgin Mobile UK on the One 2 One network which proved to be the pioneering MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) at the time. Following One 2 One’s acquisition by T-Mobile, Ernest was a key member on the integration team, leading on commercial strategy and growing the wholesale side of the business to launch several MVNO’s focused on specific customer segments. He was an integral member of the team charged with executing Virgin Mobile’s $1.5bn IPO. Many senior roles followed including leading the transformational roll out of T-Mobile’s store retail programme.
Having led teams in Marketing, Sales, Finance, Strategic Planning, Business Development and Operations in blue chip telecoms companies, Ernest was headhunted as COO by Lycamobile (the world’s largest international MVNO) to lead its European strategy, successfully expanding into 10 countries within 2 years. Following this notable success in Europe, Ernest focused on Nigeria’s telecoms sector and was approached to lead a major marketing drive for Etisalat (9 Mobile), the 4th entrant in a highly competitive telecoms market. As Marketing Director, he spearheaded a range of initiatives that took Etisalat from the 4th ranked operator to the 2nd, in terms of ARPU and active customer base.
Immediately prior to joining ntel, Ernest was a strategic consultant to several blue chip organisations including Blackberry Nigeria, the World Bank, and most recently provided strategic oversight to Swazi Mobile in formulating a commercial strategic plan for the successful application of a 4G VoLTE, 3g ,2g licence in Swaziland, South Africa. This has underpinned the impressive growth of Swazi Mobile in less than 3 months of operations.
Ernest is a Fellow of The Chartered Certified Accountants, holds an MBA from Manchester Business School with a first degree in Economics from UEL.
Commenting on his new appointment, Ernest Akinlola said “I am excited to be appointed MD/CEO of ntel, Nigeria’s pre-eminent 4G/LTE network. ntel has tremendous untapped capabilities which can provide a step change in customer experience for Large Enterprise, SME’s and Consumers. I look forward to leading the team in driving innovation and delighting our current and future customers”
ntel had previously assured its stakeholders that the leadership transition from the previous incumbent would be smooth and orderly in accordance with global best practices. We are pleased to report that there has been no adverse impact on the business operations and the company would like to thank Abhulime Ehiagwina (CFO) for holding the fort during the transition period.