T-Mobile US’ Neville Ray to retire this fall

Chief Network Officer Ulf Ewaldsson to take the reins as president of technology upon Ray’s retirement

T-Mobile US’ longtime network guru, Neville Ray, has announced that he will retire from his position as president of technology in the fall of this year.

T-Mo’s current EVP and Chief Network Officer Ulf Ewaldsson, who joined the company in 2019 after nearly three decades at Ericsson, will take on the role of president of technology upon Ray’s retirement.

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said that this is a “thoughtfully planned succession,” adding, “Our goal is always to build a strong bench of leaders who are ready to fill key positions when they’re needed, and this is a perfect example of that approach.”

Senior leadership including EVP and CIO Brian King, EVP and CTO Abdul Saad, and John Saw, EVP of advanced and emerging technologies, will remain in their current roles and report to Ewaldsson after the transition, according to the carrier.

“Under Neville’s network leadership we have accomplished so much together, and it’s amazing to think that milestones he’s helped T-Mobile achieve—the many network firsts, breakthroughs and innovations—have brought us to where we are today, taking the crown as the nation’s overall network leader,” said Sievert. “There are so many things Neville has contributed to this company but one of the most important has been his commitment to building the best, most effective Technology team in this industry that will continue to deliver for our future.”

Ray has been with T-Mo for 23 years; he joined the company in April 2000 and T-Mo noted that his tenure at the company has spanned the launch of 3G, the launch of the first UMTS Android smartphone, the launch of HSPA+ and the launch and nationwide scaling of LTE, and the launch of 5G and the first 5G Standalone network in the U.S. (and the first nationwide 5G SA network in the world, T-Mo says), as well as T-Mobile’s combinations with MetroPC and Sprint. Ray led the company’s signature “layer cake” approach to 5G, with a coverage base of 600 MHz low-band spectrum, bolstered by its extensive midband spectrum assets (particularly at 2.5 GHz) and millimeter-wave capacity added in targeted areas.

“Neville and his team saw that the 5G era would be won or lost on mid-band spectrum, and this shared vision was so critical to the enormous success T-Mobile now enjoys. It simply can’t be overstated,”said Sievert.

Taking over Ray’s role will be Ewaldsson, who currently leads a nationwide field team that is responsible for the building, operation and maintenance of T-Mobile US’ network. He came to the carrier after a 27-year career at Ericsson, where he held roles including group CTO. T-Mo said that he has been “deeply involved in developing and globalizing” industry cellular standards and “instrumental in helping to create some of the most innovative mobile communication products, such as multi-standard RBS, antenna-integrated and femto base stations, narrowband IoT, and virtualized network core products.” Ewaldsson holds a master of science and master of business management from Linköping Technical University.

Sievert said that during his time at T-Mo thus far, Ewaldsson has “has led a team that has played a critical role in achieving milestones for T-Mobile as it has become a 5G leader and now is emerging as an overall network leader in the U.S. He established and drove a record-setting pace to build out the Un-carrier’s nationwide 5G network and rapidly expand T-Mobile’s coverage footprint.

“Ulf and team have led the historic merger integration, unlocking billions of dollars in synergies ahead of schedule, while simultaneously improving network satisfaction among customers, and reducing churn to record lows – an amazing set of accomplishments,” continued Sievert. “Ulf brings the right combination of customer centricity, leadership, and deep technology experience to write the next technology chapter at T-Mobile.”

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