E139 - Phil Clarke at Nokia

Louis Parratt
Phil  Clarke

By Louis Parratt & Phil Clarke

On today’s episode, we’re joined by our host Louis Parratt and special guest, Phil Clarke, the Business Development Lead of 5G at Nokia. Phil talks about his history in the telecommunications space and some of the standout technological advancements that he’s seen since he started his career. He also talks about some of the biggest challenges he’s faced in his career and how he turned those challenges into opportunities.

Phil's story begins with a solid technical foundation. He went on his career journey through an apprenticeship at the Ministry of Defence, which laid the groundwork for a successful career in the telecoms industry.

 Joining Nokia

 In 1992, he took a step in his career by joining Nokia, a company that has played a huge part in the global telecommunications industry. His initial role at Nokia was technical but over the years, he transitioned into a variety of sales roles across different technology areas. In 2014, he made a career move as he transitioned into a leadership role in business development, working closely with tier 1 operators. In 2016, his journey took yet another turn as he shifted his focus to the field of 5G.

 Indeed, Phil Clarke's journey through the telecommunications industry, which began in 1987, has witnessed remarkable technological advancements that have transformed the way we connect and communicate. His perspective on these innovations provides a fascinating insight into the rapid evolution of telecommunications technology during his career.

 The Technology Evolution 

 To put things into perspective, Phil's journey began at a time when telecommunication technology was very different from what we experience today. At home, his family had a telephone with a party line (a shared telephone line with other households). Back then, this was the extent of their telecommunications technology. Fast forward to the present, and we hold in our hands, supercomputers, more powerful than the most advanced computers of that era. Smartphones have become a huge part of our lives, enabling us to communicate, work, access information, and perform countless tasks.

 Turning Challenges into Opportunities 

 Phil’s ability to view challenges as opportunities has been a defining aspect of his career in the telecommunications industry. One of the most significant challenges he encountered early in his journey was when he completed his apprenticeship. Upon finishing his apprenticeship, he found himself in a conversation with the head of his department who mentioned that many were seeking graduates for roles in the telecommunications industry. Instead of letting this discourage him, he embraced it as an opportunity for growth. He recognised that the telecommunications industry demanded a continuous learning mindset.

Phil’s experience in the telecommunications industry has provided him with valuable insights into the skills and qualities needed to excel in this field. In the fast-paced telecommunications industry, tenacity is a crucial quality. The ability to persevere and stay determined in the face of challenges and setbacks is essential. Effective communication is a cornerstone of success in telecommunications. He shares the importance of being able to listen actively and absorb information. Equally important is the skill of asking questions. Asking thoughtful and relevant questions is a powerful way to gather information and clarify doubts.

 Tune in on the 31/10/2023 to hear the full episode!