West Midlands 5G Limited (WM5G), a new organisation set-up to deliver the UK’s first region-wide 5G testbed, has appointed Michel Sabatier as Business Development Director.

As part of a multi-million-pound project, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) have set up WM5G to develop the UK’s first region-wide testbed for new 5G applications and services at scale.

WM5G’s mission is to accelerate the deployment of 5G networks and to test, prove and scale new 5G services across the West Midlands. In his new role, Michel will be leading the identification and evaluation of major new sector developments for 5G services and securing additional funding to pursue these opportunities.

Bringing a wealth of industry knowledge to the WM5G team, Michel boasts over 30 years’ experience working for large tech companies such as Atos and Nokia, both in the UK and abroad. Michel has also been heavily involved in the development of emerging technologies through both his work as co-founder of several software start-ups and his role as investor and advisor to several national and international tech scale-ups.

On his appointment, Michel Sabatier said: “I am pleased to join WM5G and will strive to help transform the West Midlands by scaling the 5G ecosystem and its associated technologies. We have a real opportunity to make a tangible impact to the life of the people, businesses and public services in our region.”

Robert Franks, Managing Director of WM5G, added: “Michel will spearhead our expansion into new areas of 5G technology and has a track record in securing the additional funding needed for projects of this kind. His appointment will help to make the West Midlands a leader in the delivery of 5G benefits over the next decade.”

WM5G’s initial focus has been on the deployment of the necessary infrastructure required for 5G services. The company is now working closely with manufacturers, SMEs, universities and hospitals across the region on new 5G and digital applications that will help drive economic growth and make a real and positive difference to the people and businesses of the West Midlands.