Vodafone will open an office in London's Tech City to help developers design new products and services.
The operator said that the centre, which is due to open toward the end of this year, will provide logistical support and potential funding to mobile and creative media firms, together with access its 400 million subscribers, according to Vodafone statement.
The decision to open a London-based technology incubator follows Vodafone's "xone" initiative, which opened in Silicon Valley a year ago. The xone centre offers U.S.-based startups assistance with business development, network and device architecture, consumer electronics, payment and billing mechanisms, data analytics and content delivery.
George Osborne, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the Vodafone investment alongside investments in London from Barclays and Gree, the Japanese gaming company, at a business summit meant to capitalise on the London Olympics.
"Taken together, these investment represent a triple whammy for Tech City," he said, according to the Financial Times. "You will not find a country anywhere in the world that is more open to technology, more open to investment and more open to business."
The Vodafone announcement coincided with Barclays Bank saying it would be providing office space and financing to startups in Tech City over the next five years, while Gree, is planning a relocate its development studio to the fast-growing London district.
Commenting on the move, Siavash Alamouti, Vodafone's group R&D director said that he was pleased to confirm the company's intention to set up a new R&D and incubation centre in East London's Tech City. "We believe that the great talent, entrepreneurial spirit and wealth of start-up companies, in both the mobile internet and creative media industries, that are to be found in East London, make Tech City a great location for this centre," he said.
Vodafone's decision to open a focus on London's Tech City for new technology developments follows a recent move by O2 which has already opened its Wayra academy in the same location, and comes just days after Amazon and Facebook announced similar investment in technology centres bordering Tech City.
- see this Vodafone release
- see this Financial Times article (sub. req.)
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