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IBM and Vodafone launch new European venture focusing on cloud, 5G and AI

IBM is launching a new venture with mobile operator Vodafone aimed at boosting Europe’s 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud capabilities.

Vodafone will be able to use all of IBM’s cloud services whilst the telecommunications conglomerate will provide mobile infrastructure like 5G.

As part of the deal, IBM will also provide managed services to Vodafone’s Business’ cloud and hosting unit, in an eight-year agreement valued at around $550mn.


“Vodafone has successfully established its cloud business to help our customers succeed in a digital world,” said Vodafone CEO Nick Read.

“This strategic venture with IBM allows us to focus on our strengths in fixed and mobile technologies, whilst leveraging IBM’s expertise in multicloud, AI and services.

"Through this new venture we’ll accelerate our growth and deepen engagement with our customers while driving radical simplification and efficiency in our business.”  

Using agile methodology, the joint venture hopes to co-develop new digital solutions by tapping into Vodafone’s strengeth in IoT, 5G and edge computing with IBM’s multicloud, industry expertise and professional services capabilities.

“This is an era of unprecedented disruption with companies having to react fast to new competitors and business models as well to changing economic and political landscapes," noted Roy Illsley, Distinguished Analyst Infrastructure Solutions at Ovum.

“Companies need choice, speed and flexibility. For this reason, the cloud market needs more diversity and more ventures like this.

“IBM and Vodafone are getting ahead of the game and by coming together are striving to make it easier for businesses to use any cloud, any data, any workload in any location - this could open up huge possibilities for the enterprise.”


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