Telefonica CEO hails telco's digital transformation, announces new customer wins

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Telefonica CEO José María Álvarez-Pallete has marked the operator's transformation into a digital platforms company by announcing deals with Colombian airline Avianca and engineering firm ASTI Mobile Robotics.

In a presentation to analysts, Álvarez-Pallete revealed the Spanish incumbent has been chosen to drive the digital transformation of Avianca – the second-oldest airline in the world – across its operations in 27 countries. To do this, Telefonica will reorganise Avianca's entire IT and network communications infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the ASTI deal will see the two companies jointly develop LTE network services, as well as IoT products and services, for companies looking to automate and digitise their processes. Telefonica and ASTI will focus their efforts on solutions for players in the automotive, ports, airports, petrochemical, food, pharmaceutical, and e-commerce industries that fall within Telefonica's operating footprint.

One potential area of interest is LTE networks for automatically guided vehicles (AGVs), which are commonly found in factories and in other industrial environments.

Álvarez-Pallete also unveiled what Telefonica calls the "Enterprise Private Network". Developed in partnership with Ericsson, it is a virtualised network solution that uses network slicing and vEPC to meet the specific bandwidth and latency needs of individual enterprise customers.

The presentation was attended by major analyst firms, including Gartner, Ovum and Forrester, as well as various of Telefonica's corporate clients, such as BBVA, Dufry, and PepsiCo, among others.

Álvarez-Pallete said: "We want our customers to not only buy capacity or access speed from us; we want to offer our customers a network that they can manage and adapt to their needs, a network with which they can interact and that can learn from them and, therefore, serve them better."