The Spanish incumbent agreed its first deal with Unicom in 2009, in an alliance covering infrastructure procurement and development of wireless service platforms. The tie-up also saw each operator invest $1 billion (€723 million) in the other.
Telefonica allies with Unicom in M2M
Telefonica’s recently-formed Digital unit is collaborating with China Unicom to develop machine-to-machine (M2M) platforms and technical specifications.
In one of the first deals by the new business division Telefonica will seek to improve efficiency, cut costs and provide new technologies through the partnership, which also covers joint procurement, testing and market analysis. The pair will also jointly agree customer and supplier deals, and seek to boost global standardization efforts.
Key target markets include smart transport, energy, connected cars, cities and industry.
The alliance will also provide opportunities to agree M2M roaming deals, however the main goal remains establishing global standards and technical specifications. The firms state the partnership may also be opened up to other operators.
Telefonica was touted as a potential takeover target for China Mobile late September, however the latest alliance with rival China Unicom should put paid to such speculation.