Telefónica, MTN announce strategic partnership

Spain-based Telefónica and South African operator MTN formed a strategic partnership that will place a strong focus on services for enterprise customers as well as the future development of new digital services.

The two operators have joined forces under the Telefónica Partners Program, an initiative launched by Telefónica in 2011 that the company said includes operators covering a total of 35 markets (or 48 markets including the 13 operating companies of Telefónica) in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Middle East. Including MTN, that number now increases to 50 markets, a Telefónica spokesperson said.

Under the terms of the agreement with MTN, the companies will work together with the goal of improving their respective standing in the area of enterprise customers, including services to multinational companies in each other's footprint, collaboration in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and new digital products, and services targeting the B2B segment.

The two groups plan to cooperate on various strategic initiatives and exchange best practices to capture new industry opportunities. They will also enter in discussions on how to engage effectively in international wholesale, devices and network/IT procurement.

Other potential areas of collaboration could also include alignment in key technology projects in network and IT, new initiatives (such as mobile money or big data projects), and commercial and marketing strategies.

Mario Martín, industrial alliances group director at Telefónica, said the Spanish group "has a strong belief" in the advantages of scale and the pooling of skills that industry partnerships can bring.

"We are confident that this agreement will bring important benefits to both our groups," Martín said.

The MTN Group is an emerging market operator with 231 million subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa.

Telefónica, meanwhile, said it has a "significant presence" in 21 countries and a customer base of over 327 million subscriptions around the world.

For more:
- see this Telefónica release

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