Stewart is a Telecoms Management Consultant & Former Solicitor with more than 30 years of experience in ICT strategy, regulatory and competition policy, governance and risk management. He has worked in many jurisdictions in developed and developing countries advising in fixed, mobile and satellite as a trusted advisor with a 360o of issues having advised governments, regulators, operators, financial institutions, content providers and key stakeholders. He was the founding Group Public Policy Director of Vodafone Group plc (where he was known as Vodafone’s “Foreign Minister”), and was a director of many Vodafone operating companies as well as a director of Etisalat’s Nigerian operation.
He was the lead legal advisor on a number of privatisations of operators and creation of regulatory frameworks and authorities notably in Jordan, Palestine and Oman for the World Bank as well advising on EU PHARE in Czech Republic. In 2011-12 he advised a regulatory authority in the Gulf on its regulatory review and overall strategy. In 2015, he advised a Central Bank on the creation of a regulatory framework for digital payments.
He was an advisor to the Australian Government regarding the creation of the NBN, including separation undertakings of Telstra, and other NBN related projects including in Oman, Kuwait and Qatar. Likewise, he worked with Telecom NZ on its separation undertakings. At the ITU Virtual Digital World 2020, he chaired the session “Bridging the broadband gap: stimulating public and private sectors to connect the unconnected.”
He has advised on telecoms and spectrum licensing (including auctions) for operators and regimes for regulators and governments. He has carried out many competition and market reviews for operators, such as Vodafone and ETISALAT, and competition policy development for regulatory authorities. He was a key team member in the successful clearance of the Vodafone acquisition of Mannesmann (Case No COMP/M. 1795 Vodafone AirTouch/Mannesmann).
He has been advising on space and satellite related issues since 1979, including operators such as SES ASTRA, THURAYA, Solaris Mobile a JV between SES and EUTELSAT; content providers such as CNN and Canal +; as well as regulators, such as the ITU and recently a GCC regulator on its regulatory regime for space services.
He is an advisory panel member of the European Space Agency on data protection and similarly with EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites).
He is an Associate of MFX Partners (Mobile Finance Experts), providing experts with experience in at-scale, profitable mobile finance deployments in emerging markets.
He has been an expert to the European Commission on a range of dossiers, including spectrum, an advisor to four ITU Secretaries General, and a partner in several major law firms in Australia and the UK. He was Head of Telecoms for KPMG in Middle East and South Asia between 2010 and 2012 and the principal of his own specialised consultancies, notably Akhet Consulting.
Over the summer of 2019, Stewart was a key advisor to Omani clients on the establishment of Oman Future Telecommunications as the third mobile operator in Oman in a strategic partnership with Vodafone Group in the Sultanate of Oman as part of Vodafone’s Partner Markets program. Since March 2019, Stewart has been the Public Policy Advisor of FIBRE ASSETS LIMITED trading as CONNECT FIBRE, an open access provider of Electronic Communications Networks and Services providing layer 1 (dark fibre) and layer 2 (ethernet / other lit) services and infrastructure. This includes dealing with Ofcom and industry on relevant matters, such as its application for Code Powers under section 106(3) of the UK Communications Act.
At the International Bar Association, he served on a number of committees and was the founding Chairman of the Communications Law Committee. He jointly inaugurated the highly successful and ongoing joint meetings between Committee C (Competition). He has been a lecturer at Queen Mary College, London, on space law and policy, particularly the international regulatory regime. He is an author on a number of subjects, including Satellite Law in Europe (with Tim Johnson & Stephen Bates), 2nd ed. FT 1996. He is a regular speaker at conferences: for example, he was a keynote speaker at a closed Ministerial Roundtable hosted by the Singaporean regulator on Government Strategies and Policies on providing ICT access to their Populace.