Telefonica Moviles, T-Mobile International and TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) today announced a cooperation to set up an alliance to provide their customers with a unified and superior offering of products and services in all the countries where the three operators are present, thereby strengthening their ability to compete in cross-border markets.
The alliance's first outcome will be that, via roaming agreements, the partners will be able to develop new joint offers in voice, data and mobile internet, in order to gain new customers, both private users as well as multinational companies and corporate users interested in maintaining their level and quality of services, regardless of the country or the operator.
The partners will develop joint solutions, combining the technological and commercial strengths of the three companies, potentially bringing together the world's largest customer base with nearly 162 million clients in 25 countries across three continents.
The customers accessing these services are divided among Western Europe (where the operators have a total 98.3 million clients), Eastern Europe (14.4 million), Latin America (36.6 million), the United States (9.9 million) and the Mediterranean Basin (2.8 million). Altogether this would create a combined potential market of more than 1.000 million users.
The partners are already working on the design of unified roaming, voice, data and mobile internet services, as well as the development of joint offers in sales and in equipment. The benefits to customers will include simplified tariff schemes and the capacity to access the same service offering on a global scale, as easily available as at home. Such services will include recharging a pre-paid account abroad, sending photos via MMS, accessing Customer Care in the client's home language or the use of the same short code for SMS services.
Another aim of the alliance would be to join forces to obtain synergies, economies of scale and greater sales potential, as well as equipment and handset development, in order to meet the demand for new products and services. All of these elements will lead to an improved service offering to the customers.
According to Antonio Viana-Baptista, Chairman and CEO of Telefonica Moviles, "This is an alliance in which the winners will be, not just the partners, but all their customers, because they will benefit from better products and services, as well as from better prices, which we will achieve by translating the advantages we obtain into cost savings. By working jointly to initiate seamless services in voice, data and mobile internet, and extending them to all the countries where the three operators are present, we will create a truly world-class service offering."
Marco De Benedetti, CEO of TIM said, "In the first phase we will create a common marketing proposition offering new services, tariffs and co-branding. In the second phase, deepening the cooperation between the three groups and expanding the alliance, we will provide additional value to the customers and bring bottom-line benefits to each company."
Rene Obermann, CEO of T-Mobile International said, "Partnerships are essential in driving the communications industry forward and being able to offer the customer, best-in-class services. T-Mobile has been a key player in forming successful industry partnerships that continue to shape the future of the telecommunications industry."
The alliance will be open to the possible incorporation of other world mobile operators interested in contributing to the enhancement of the different areas of collaboration.