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Nine global operators form some kind of commercial alliance

telecoms radio mast

Russian operator MTS has announced the formation of a new organisation called the Partnering Operator Alliance together with eight other major mobile operators.

The other partners in this alliance are: BT, Deutsche Telekom, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Millicom, Orange, Rogers, TeliaSonera and TIM, but it’s not very clear exactly what their new gang is designed to achieve. The official line is that it will make global product delivery more efficient, and that sort of thing.

“We believe in the positive synergy that this alliance brings to the global market,” said Vasyl Latsanych, CMO of MTS Group. “The joint forces of industry leaders create additional value for our customers and give us a chance to provide the latest innovations, best services, products and client experience. We are proud to represent Russia and CIS countries in the alliance and we are sure that it is wise to face global market challenges in an alliance of reliable partners from all over the world.”

Further elaboration in the announcement sheds little additional light on the group. The members will apparently exchange best practice anecdotes as well as pooling content partners such as AirBnB and Spotify. The alliance is looking to grow but it seems unlikely to allow the presence of geographically competing members.

“Partnering becomes more and more important,” said Christian von Reventlow, Chief Product & Innovation Officer at DT. “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. This is a perfect win-win-situation for all. Therefore I’m very happy that we were able to build this powerful alliance.”

Orange is already committed to enabling digital startups to accelerate their growth through its in-house initiatives and its partnerships with operators or large companies,” said Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Senior Executive Innovation, Marketing and Technologies at Orange. “We strongly believe that this alliance will contribute and enhance our collective ability to scale up innovators.”

“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,” said Lucy Lombardi, Head of Innovation & Industry Relations of TIM.

That’s about all we know for now. The Partnering Operator Alliance doesn’t seem to have anything as concrete as a website yet, so for the time being must be viewed more as an advanced group conversation than a formal alliance. Maybe things will become clearer at Mobile World Congress next week.


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