Vodafone strikes deal with BAE Systems

UK operator group Vodafone has struck a five-year deal with British defence firm BAE Systems. The two have penned a partnership to provide businesses with a range of advanced communications security products and services for smartphones and tablets.

BAE Systems aims to grow its cyber and security arm, BAE Systems Detica, in areas such as the communications technology market, according to Vodafone. For the operator, the partnership extends enables it to provide its multinational enterprise customers with more advanced security products and services, it said.

The first commercial output of the partnership will be the spring 2013 launch of a cloud-based mobile security solution, Vodafone Mobile Threat Manager. The solution will work across all networks, scanning traffic to and from a company’s mobile devices to safeguard against malicious attacks and block inappropriate content, according to Vodafone. It will initially be made available to the operator’s largest 1,500 global enterprise customers.

Meanwhile BAE Systems has selected Vodafone as its preferred supplier of mobile communications worldwide, excluding the US. Vodafone will provide services to BAE Systems’ 35,000 UK employees from July 2013, with a view to expanding these services across its global workforce over the term of the contract. Vodafone is additionally discussing the supply of Unified Communications to BAE Systems in the UK, it said.

“This partnership is unique, not only in bringing together a defence and security player with a major communications provider, but also in its ability to help global enterprises realise their ambitions around leveraging the future of communications technologies in a secure manner,” said Ian King, CEO of BAE Systems.

Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group, added that large and small enterprises now rely on mobile services to an extent unimaginable five years ago.

“As a new generation of mobile-centric security risks begins to emerge, our customers are looking for our help to protect their businesses,” he said. “Our partnership with BAE Systems will strengthen further our commitment to meet our customers’ increasingly complex cyber security needs.”

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