OCTOBER 11 – 12, 2023 | Richardson, TX

5G Americas 2023 Analyst Forum Speakers

Ayodele Damola

Director of AI and ML Strategy


Ayodele Damola has 17+ years of experience in the telecommunications industry. He works in the CTO Office driving the AI/ML strategy for Ericsson North America looking into key market and technology trends in AI/ML and identifying business opportunities and threats.


Previously Ayo worked in Ericsson Research in Kista, Sweden. He is an inventor with 18 granted US patents.

Bob Gessel

Head of Strategy & Market Development
Enterprise & Emerging Business
Ericsson North America


Bob Gessel has 35+ years of experience in the Telecom, Communications and Software industries. He has been with Ericsson for 27 years and is currently Head of Strategy & Market Development responsible for driving strategic planning and market development initiatives for Ericsson’s Enterprise and Emerging Business unit in North America.  Current responsibilities include expanding Ericsson’s portfolio and go-to-market capabilities towards enterprise and industrial customers in areas such as private cellular networks, mission critical networks, industrial IoT and SMB solutions.  He is also responsible for developing the ecosystem partners across devices, platforms, applications together with System Integrators and VARs to create compelling solutions for enterprise and industrial customers. ​

Dr. Brenda Ann Connor, CISSP

Principal Solutions Consultation
Chief Engineer, Mission Critical Solutions
Ericsson Market Area, North America


Principal Solutions Consultant with a strong strategic and business acumen. Proven track record of building successful 5G/4G enabled mission critical use cases with compelling customer experience and data driven outcomes. Thought Leader with expertise in cybersecurity, defense in depth, and zero trust architecture SCADA solutions. Experience leading multi-location teams including on and offshore.


Dr. Brenda Connor has been with Ericsson since 1994 and is providing thought leadership in 4G/5G ecosystems for secure mission critical, smart city, & Industrial IoT use cases.

Dr. Christina Chaccour

Network Solution Manager


Dr. Christina Chaccour, a professional research scientist, engineer, and entrepreneur, currently serves as a Network Solutions Manager at Ericsson Inc. In her role, Dr. Chaccour seamlessly bridges product solutions and research, spearheading developments in 5G Advanced and 6G networks, AI-integrated solutions, and industry standards. Dr. Chaccour’s academic journey led her to obtain a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, where she made significant contributions during her doctoral studies, particularly in the realm of 6G systems at THz frequencies. Her work addressed perceptual and haptic requirements for next-gen XR and holographic systems and laid the foundation for pioneering research in semantic communications.


Her impactful contributions have earned notable recognition, including the Best Paper Award at the 10th IFIP Conference on New Technologies, Mobility, and Security (NTMS) in 2019. Furthermore, her paper in IEEE Communication Surveys and Tutorials was recognized in the Top Access article listing from June 2022 to November 2022. Dr. Chaccour’s dedication to her community is evident through her editorial services, which were recognized with the Exemplary Reviewer Award (fewer than 2%) from IEEE Transactions on Communications in 2021. Additionally, Dr. Chaccour co-founded the startup “Internet of Trees”, which has received numerous local and international awards.

Erin Liao

Vice President and Head of End-End 5G Systems
Ericsson North America


Erin Liao is the VP and Head of End-to-End 5G Systems of Ericsson North America with over 20 years of telecom product development and solution experience. She is responsible for bringing together the complete network solutions integrated with the ecosystem and pushing for the advancement of mobile communication technologies. Erin is most passionate about the transformational potential of 5G and looking forward to its powerful impacts to the society.


Erin was named a 2022 Women in Technology honoree by Dallas Business Journal for her contribution in telecom industry

Haseeb Akhtar

Head of RAN, Advanced Architecture


Haseeb Akhtar is currently responsible for the evolution of radio network architecture at Ericsson for their North American market. His experience spans across various roles in Telecommunications with a concentration on wireless and packet-based networks. Haseeb represents Ericsson at the O-RAN Alliance’s WG1 (Working Group 1) covering the ‘Use Cases and Overall Architecture’. He is also the editor of ‘O-RAN Architecture Description’ specification.

Jose Ayala

Head of Government and Industry Relations
Ericsson Latin America and the Caribbean


Jose Luis Ayala is currently Head of Government and Industry Relations at Ericsson Latin America and the Caribbean, and is responsible for leading Ericsson strategy regarding Telecom policies which favor the mass adoption of broadband services in the region. In his position, Jose has supported several governments across the region in areas of Telecom policies, spectrum management, national ICT plans and, mobile broadband strategies. Jose has worked in the areas of Sales Support, Engineering and Business Development, in Latin America and the USA.

Mohammad Khaled

Director of Security Solutions
Ericsson North America


Mohammad Khaled is the Director of Security Solutions for Ericsson Market Area North America. He is a telecom security expert focusing on building Ericsson’s security vision and solutions in different technologies like 5G, spectrum sharing and cloud, and helping Ericsson’s customers in addressing their cybersecurity challenges and securing their networks.

Khaled has 17 years of experience in the telecom industry where he held different roles in telecom security including customer operations, research and development, standards development and building security solutions.

Noman Alam

Director 5G Solutions & Network Product Solutions
Ericsson North America


Noman M. Alam is Director of 5G solutions at Ericsson North America. He is an expert in telecommunications with over 19 years of industry experience. He brings in a wealth of experience in mobile network planning & strategy, consulting, spectrum, capacity planning, investment planning and performance management. In his current role Noman is responsible for advising the technical team of engineers at Ericsson and providing radio access network solutions for the customers across the North American region.

Paul Challoner

Vice President, Network Solutions
Ericsson North America


Paul Challoner, VP Network Product Solutions for Ericsson North America, based in Plano, Texas is responsible for radio solutions including 4G, 5G & IOT. Prior to his current role, Challoner worked as Head of Product Line Wi-Fi and Head of Ericsson’s CDMA Product Line.


He has 20 years in the telecom industry he possesses extensive industry experience and has innovated bringing numerous radio products to market specializing in the field of wireless communication. He is a member of the CBRS Alliance and Wireless Innovation Forum board of directors.   

Peter Linder

Head of Thought Leadership
Ericsson North America


Peter Linder is Head of Thought Leadership at Ericsson in North America. He is passionate about deciphering 5G & the mobile G forces enabling digital markets. He is a broadband networker with 32 years at Ericsson centered around fixed and mobile broadband in equal parts. In 2023, Onalytica recognized him as a global Top-12 voice on 5G.

Ranjeet Bhattacharya

Head of RAN Architecture and Solutions


Ranjeet Bhattacharya is responsible for 5G Radio Access Network Solutions and Network Evolution within Ericsson North America. In this role, Bhattacharya is actively engaged with multiple service providers in USA and Canada.


Prior to taking on this role, Bhattacharya has held several roles within Ericsson in North America as well as global. These include CTO for Bharti Airtel Customer Unit in India, Principal Solutions Consultant towards T-Mobile and Mid-Tier Customer Unit. Bhattacharya was the lead solutions responsible for the first LTE network launch in USA. Bhattacharya also worked in Sweden Headquarter in the Business Unit, providing Technical Solution Support to South East Asia markets

Sandeep Chandel

Custuomer Solutions Sale Director, Network Product Solutions
Ericsson North America


Sandeep Chandel has worked with Ericsson since 2010 and is presently heading Ericsson’s Ecosystem Business Development efforts in North America.  Prior to his current role, Sandeep was in the Ericsson Radio Product Management organization where he led the Global Alliances program for 4G and 5G.


Sandeep has been in the wireless industry for more than 20 years, with experience in Product Management, Corporate Business Development/M&A and developing Strategic Alliances. He has global experience of working with the wireless industry in North America, Western Europe and Asia. He also co-founded an inter-enterprise startup venture in the field of Wireless data analytics, and has been on the advisory board of multiple wireless start-ups.

Sashieka Seneviratne

Director of Sustainability


Sashieka Seneviratne is Ericsson North America’s Director of Sustainability for Networks based in Plano, Texas. Sashieka is responsible for driving sustainability initiatives across the organization, advising leadership and leveraging key stakeholder insights to identify opportunities where new sustainable network solutions for customers can be introduced.


Prior to her current role, she served as a Network Solutions Director at Ericsson Canada, where she brought together customer insight, business acumen and technology to create compelling strategic insights and network solutions for customers. She comes from a Research and Development (R&D) background with experience primarily in Radio Access Network (RAN) Hardware Development. She has 17 years of industry experience where she started her career at Nortel and then joined Ericsson in 2009. She has held several technical leadership roles, lead teams in product development and has additionally contributed to innovation through patents. She has served in the Advisory Board to the Head of R&D at Ericsson and currently serves on the Ericsson North America Sustainability Council working in areas of Climate Action, Digital Inclusion and Responsible Business.

Shane McClelland

Vice President
Strategy and Business Development


Shane is responsible for business development and sales support for Radio Access Network (RAN) Transport products and solutions comprised of Microwave and Fiber-based Mobile Backhaul, Fronthaul, Routers and applicable partner offerings. Shane is part of the Networks Domain which develops and delivers innovative & profitable network solutions for Ericsson’s North American customers.

Thedy Wana​

Private Networks Solution Director
Ericsson North America


Thedy Wana is a Private Networks Solution Director at Ericsson within Market Area North America – Network Product Solutions, supporting mission critical networks solution development along with market enablement of 5G solutions.


He has more than 20 years of working experience in the telecom industry and joined Ericsson in 2021. He is responsible for cross-domain solutions development to define, adapt, and own end-to-end solutions architectures and specifications to propose product solutions for mission critical networks, drive business models based on the market realities and lead strategy assessment of commercial viability to ensure enablement of solutions in the market.