Howard Lewis and Simon Rockman
Profile: Howard Lewis, CEO of Fuss Free Phones
Howard Lewis joined Fuss Free Phones in 2014, bringing with him 25 years’ experience in the mobile phone industry.
He has worked at a senior level for numerous phone companies including Motorola, Philips and Sony Ericsson. In 1999 he set up his own mobile phone business Sendo and over the next six years sold 11 million phones to the European network operators and developed the world’s first smartphone. The business was sold to Motorola in 2005.
From there he went on to work for tech giant Philips in France, Hong Kong and the US, where he was the executive vice president in telephony for the Philips and Lucent Technologies joint venture.
Howard then co-founded Sendo with a Philips colleague. The company designed and manufactured customised phones for the network operators. After its sale he moved to Sony Ericsson to manage their mobile phone portfolio.
In January 2012 Howard co-founded BIZZBY with an investment of $10m from a US hedge fund. This on-demand services app delivers tradesmen, cleaners, transport and health and beauty providers within an hour across the UK in just two taps on a smartphone. The business is growing rapidly with many thousands of successful jobs each month.
Having taken a keen interest in developing inclusive technology for our ageing population Howard joined Fuss Free Phones in October 2014 and describes it as “the pre-pay mobile network for the ageing disgracefully generation”.
He said: “Our service is for people who have better things to do with their time than keeping up with the latest technology. They just want a phone and a service to connect them to their friends and loved ones at the push of a single button. And that’s what we deliver – a telephonist based service that’s completely fuss free.”
Profile: Simon Rockman, founder and director of Fuss Free Phones
Simon Rockman, founder and director of Fuss Free Phones, is one of the UK’s leading experts on mobile phones for older customers.
“I love mobile phones and I hate the idea that any group of people would be excluded from them,” he said.
Fuss Free Phones grew out of Senior Market Mobile, a conference on phones for older people which Simon launched and ran.
His passion for mobiles first developed in the 1980s while he was editing Personal Computer World, the UK’s leading home computer magazine which under his watch grew from a circulation of less than 55,000 to more than 130,000.
He went on to found Blah Publishing and launched What Mobile magazine which he ran for ten years before being poached from his own company by Motorola where he worked as the creative experience director, looking at what people wanted from their mobiles and what new technology was available to make that happen.
He moved on to a similar role at Sony Ericsson as head of requirements before joining the GSMA, the mobile operators trade association, as head of the mobile money exchange. He has also spent time working for The Register, the biggest technology website in Europe, where he was mobile and motoring correspondent.
Prior to working in mobiles, Simon edited a number of computer magazines including Amstrad User and Amiga Computing. Simon sold What Mobile in 2001 and it is still published today.
Simon’s time in the mobile industry and as a journalist has given him high level access to many of the most powerful and influential people in the mobile industry. Something which has proved invaluable in setting up a mobile network of his own.
Throughout all his time at What Mobile, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Senior Market Mobile and at the GSMA he has been passionate about providing mobile devices and services for older people.
He said: “Remember how excited you were when you got your first mobile phone? How it gave you a sense of independence.
“Now imagine how you’d feel if you couldn’t see it, hear it or use it – that’s what millions of older people go through. At Fuss Free Phones we want to help those people enjoy the benefits of using a mobile.”