Nine operators have come together to form a new alliance that aims to offer scale to partner organisations, such as AirBnB and Spotify.

BT, Deutsche Telekom, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Millicom, MTS, Orange, Rogers, TeliaSonera and Telecom Italia (TIM) said they wanted to bring products and services to customers more quickly.

The combined footprint of the operators covers one billion customers in more than 80 countries.

Crucially, the nine described their geographical footprints as “complementary”.

DT has been the driving force behind the Alliance, organising meetings and the schedule.

More operators are expected to join “soon”.

The Alliance promises to focus on exchanging best practice about how to bring partner propositions to the market and on joint efforts in partner scouting.

It has existing relationships with 30 partners, including AirBnB, video editor Magisto, connected car platform Mojio and Spotify.

DT, for example, signed a pan-European partnership with AirBnB 12 months ago, while TeliaSonera owns a 1.4 percent stake in Spotify after investing further in the music streaming service last June.

The Alliance will look at expanding existing deals and developing new ones in mobile and fixed services for both the retail and enterprise markets.

Christian von Reventlow, Chief Product & Innovation Officer at DT, described the tie-up as “a perfect win-win-situation” for all parties.

He said: “We as operators can provide partners with the best networks and easy distribution to customers.

“And the partners enable us to provide our customers with the best and most innovative products and services.”

Jesper Hedblom, Head of Commercial at TeliaSonera, said: “By teaming up with our great peers we’ll get the possibility to work with partners and access innovations that we otherwise might not have come across.”

Orange and TIM seem to look on the venture as a way to boost their start-up accelerators.

Lucy Lombardi, Head of Innovation & Industry Relations of TIM, said: "This alliance is a unique arena where the most important operators can build upon their respective innovation experiences and solutions providing also an opportunity for operators to introduce their start-up ecosystems to an international footprint."

Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Senior Executive Innovation, Marketing and Technologies at Orange added: “We strongly believe that this alliance will contribute and enhance our collective ability to scale up innovators."

 

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