Vodafone Group has signed a five year partnership with defence and aerospace giant BAE Systems to build security products and services for businesses.
The operator will also be the company's supplier of mobile devices worldwide, except for the United States. The defence company said the move was part of plans to grow its cyber and security arm, BAE Systems Detica. The first product from the partnership will be a cloud-based security product, Vodafone Mobile Threat Manager. It will be released in Spring 2013 initially to Vodafone's largest 1,500 corporate customers. The product scans all traffic to and from business' mobile devices to protect it from attacks and block inappropriate content.
The supply deal will see Vodafone provide services to BAE Systems' 35,000 employees from July 2013, with a view to extend this to its global workforce over the lifetime of the contract. The two companies are also in talks about Vodafone providing unified communications products and a broader suite of products including devices using M2M technology.
Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group, said: 'Mobile is transforming enterprise; businesses big and small 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. Our partnership with BAE Systems will strengthen further our commitment to meet our customers’ increasingly complex cyber security needs. We also look forward to working with BAE Systems as the company’s communications partner.'
Ian King, CEO of BAE Systems, 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. These technologies are subject to the vulnerabilities of cyber space and we can provide the mobile marketplace with protection against today’s threats and the advanced threats of the future.'
Author: Graeme Neill