Telefonica and China Unicom sign strategic agreement to jointly develop M2M products and services

Telefonica and China Unicom have announced that they intend to collaborate along the entire M2M value chain, from the development of standards to the joint development of end-to-end M2M vertical products and the commercialisation of solutions.

Headed by Matthew Key, pictured, the deal has been signed by the newly formed Telefonica Digital division, and the Chinese operator, to deliver a set of globalised M2M propositions to market. It builds on the strategic alliance signed by the two companies in 2009, based on cooperation in other business areas such as purchasing, mobile services platforms, services for multinationals and wholesale services.

The objective involves making advances in improving connections between machines, through many different technologies such as cellular communications, identification by radiofrequency (RFID), sensors or global positioning systems (GPS). More specifically, China Unicom and Telefónica have decided to cooperate in constructing, maintaining and operating M2M platforms and developing the corresponding technical specifications.

From a commercial perspective, both companies will participate jointly in the purchasing, testing, market analysis and establishment of alliances with relevant suppliers. They will focus on industry wide standardisation processes and have stated that they will be working closely with the International Organisation for Standardisation for certification purposes.

Telefónica and China Unicom will also turn their attentions to developing and adapting their existing roaming capabilities to better suit the needs of M2M connectivity.

They have outlined their intent to focus on the “Smart Transport, Energy efficiency, Connected car, Consumer Electronics, Smart Cities and Smart Industry” sectors.

This strategic agreement could be opened up, as a whole or in part, to other operators that might be interested in this area of activity to allow their participation in one or several of the projects emerging out of the agreement.


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