How long have you been with Telefónica and how would you assess your time here?
Well, the truth is that I would have to do the math. I’ll start with a hint for those of you who, like me, are a bit older. When I joined the company, the Moviline service was just starting to be developed, and it managed to gain a foothold among the general public. It was a time when more and more people were starting to be seen with their retractable antenna mobile phones, which looked great in the photo. Yes, you are right, I was in the heyday of 1G. So since December 1995 I have been in this house, enjoying the experience of being part of a great paradigm shift for an entire society: the irruption of mobile telephony in their lives. My career has always been very close to the final mobile customer, as I have worked in both the planning and optimisation of the mobile radio access network. From “those crazy people” who go around deciding where to put the antennas on the terraces of buildings or on towers in the middle of the countryside or go around the streets with several phones reproducing the real quality perceived by the customers. It has been a very intense few years in which changes have been constant and the requirements of our users have been greater and greater. Although some may think that it has been an obstacle course, I have always felt surrounded by a great human capital that has accompanied me in this great adventure. I would not only include “our telephonists” but also some customers who made me feel like one of the family.
Is there any project at Telefónica that you feel particularly satisfied with or proud of?
It is difficult to choose one in particular because, despite working in a small field of action (the mobile network) both functionally and geographically (the mobile network in some Andalusian provinces), there have been many challenging cases. Let me repeat myself, few things can be achieved by just one person. Getting the participation of several people around you is always essential to achieve a good result. The projects that have excited me the most have had to do with the design of coverage and capacity solutions “sufficient for special situations”: underground subways, big events, occasional crowds of users, etc. These are circumstances where you have to make the most of the radio equipment and take it to the extreme. A challenging and unforgettable experience of how to get “a penny for a pound”.
What do you think Telefónica has contributed to society?
Although the first word that might spring to mind would be “communication”, there is another word that carries more weight from my point of view, “future”. For many years, Telefónica has been at the forefront of many of the social changes that have taken place both in Spain and in much of the world. As in the case of the golden century, in Telefónica’s empire “the sun never set”. With this global and diverse vision of a changing world, it was able to adapt to the effervescent world of technology, never ceasing to reinvent itself and move forward. Although many technology companies fell by the wayside, Telefónica has always prevailed. In my humble experience, I believe that employees have always put a human face on technology. By dealing with the people around us, we have felt first-hand the needs of our customers and have been able to modulate a service that was more than a source of revenue, it was a life experience.
Where do you see Telefónica in the future?
Where its users are, whether they are customers or all those who benefit from the social work led by our Foundation. Telefónica is synonymous with change and adaptation. Telefónica is a company that is no longer simply tied to a cable or a wave, but wants to be, and must be, wherever it can provide value to its users. Telefónica must be configured as a multi-service, omnichannel and wealth-generating company. The fact that it has a wide variety of customers makes it easier for the company to understand what they need and how it can reinvent itself to offer what society demands of it. Only those who do something useful for society have a chance to survive in this changing world.
Could you live without a mobile phone?
As the famous broadcaster would say: “I love it when you ask me that question”. Considering that when almost nobody had a mobile phone, I was given one as soon as I joined the company and “without paying for the calls”. So my love affair with the mobile phone goes back a long way, a whopping 5 different technologies and almost 28 years. However, that doesn’t mean that I am clear that it is still a tool. Yes, very useful and almost essential when you want to do any kind of management of our daily lives. But that doesn’t mean that the 5 or 6 inch screen of a terminal is more important than the person in front of you. Communication only makes sense between people if it connects them when they are far away. But if it’s right in front of you, you’d better put your smartphone in your pocket and enjoy the company of people.
Help us solve one of humanity’s great enigmas: the potato omelette… With onion or without onion?
The omelette will always have a common denominator: the egg. Being a bit baroque, I’m not satisfied with the typical plain potato omelette. I like to add green peppers rather than onions. It gives it a very characteristic touch of colour and flavour. That doesn’t mean that omelettes with beans, brains, ham, tuna and a long list of others don’t deserve to be on the podium.
Nominate another colleague to appear in this section
I don’t know if any of them will want to be here because being in the limelight is something very special. There are so many good professionals that you don’t know who to choose and, above all, who to leave behind. I am going to mention three great people, without getting angry at the others: Jose Manuel Álvarez Díaz, Rocío Guerra Jimenez and Roberto Agudo Flores.