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China Unicom and Telefónica create a joint venture providing professional big data services

Madrid/Beijing, January 5th, 2016. China Unicom and Telefónica announce that they have established a joint venture called “Smart Steps Digital Technology Company Limited” to provide big data services in China, leveraging on China Unicom’s stable and extensive basic telecommunication network and rich market experience, as well as Telefónica’s mature technology in big data services such as Smart Steps.

The new company, to be managed with a market-oriented mechanism, has a 55/45 ownership participation by China Unicom and Telefónica. The joint venture will use “Smart Steps” technology to provide location based insights and other big data related services, in the safe and efficient production environment of China Unicom.

“Smart Steps” uses anonymised, aggregated and extrapolated network data, through highly automated processing and deep denoising, provides valuable location and movement insights in a fast manner. Smart Steps is widely regarded as a world-leading service, and has a proven track record of success in markets across Europe and Latin America for some years. It has advantages such as accuracy of location, standardization of products as well as scale application of use cases. While ensuring the highest level of customer data security, the product provides enterprises and institutions with tailor-made state-of-the-art big data insights and related services, satisfying the strategic, operational and marketing needs of its customers.

It is expected that Smart Steps services can be applied extensively in China in areas such as transportation construction and operations, urban planning, tourism management, public security, financial risk control, real estate and retail analysis, business consultancy insights and macro statistics. Smart Steps service will further improve China Unicom’s deployment in the big data market and enhance China Unicom’s market influence in this area. For Telefonica, the joint venture enables access to the tremendous potential of the big data market of China - the 2nd largest economy in the world, and for the first time extends its Smart Steps operations beyond the Telefonica global operational footprint.

Telefónica and China Unicom entered into a strategic alliance in 2009. Acting as a catalyst for both companies’ digital transformation, the formation of the Joint Venture represents a significant step forward in the strategic alliance between both companies. The joint venture will contribute to the improvement of technology and service quality of big data products in China. The two companies will keep on enhancing their strategic alliance through more digital initiatives.

For full details and contact information, please download press release as a PDF.