MTN, Telefonica partner up

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Herman Singh, MTN's chief digital officer, says the groups will work together on innovation and new product offerings to help "move into the new digital world".
Herman Singh, MTN's chief digital officer, says the groups will work together on innovation and new product offerings to help "move into the new digital world".

MTN and Spain's Telef'onica Group have signed a strategic partnership agreement which enables the two telecoms operators to work together to benefit from their joint scale, combined expertise and market access.

The companies explained in a joint press statement today that the strategic partnership is supported by the Telefonica Partners Program, an initiative launched by Telefonica in 2011, which includes other leading telcos covering a total of 35 markets in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Middle East.

The collaboration is expected to provide a stronger basis to compete globally in the changing telecoms industry.

MTN Group's chief digital officer, Herman Singh, says the partnership will bring great benefits to MTN in enabling future growth delivery.

"The development scope includes our innovation process and new product offerings as we move into the new digital world, as well as leveraging our combined scale in areas such as procurement. We are really looking forward to developing this relationship to our mutual benefit," according to Singh.

Telefonica's industrial alliances group director, Mario Martin, is confident the arrangement will bring important benefits to both groups.

"Telefonica has a strong belief in the advantages of scale and pooling of skills that industry partnerships can bring. And we are especially proud of having MTN Group, a player with outstanding track record, joining forces with Telefonica under the Partners Program," he says.

Many of the initial strategic areas of cooperation are aiming to improve both companies' stand in regards to enterprise customers, including services to multinational companies in each other's footprint, collaboration in machine-to-machine (M2M) and new digital products and services targeting the business-to-business (B2B) segment.

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

Other areas where they may engage going forward include the alignment in key technology projects in network and IT, new initiatives like mobile money and big data projects as well as possible collaboration on commercial and marketing strategies.

South Africa-headquartered MTN operates in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East with 233 million subscribers across its operations.

Spanish-based Telefonica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world with a presence in 21 countries and a customer base of 329 million accesses around the world. Telefonica's strongest presence is in Spain, Europe and Latin America.

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