China Unicom, Telefónica grow closer

Mobile operators buy each other's shares as they seek to become more competitive

Telecom giants China Unicom and Telefónica have agreed to invest more in each other while raising their joint competitiveness in purchasing, roaming and service to multinationals, the Chinese carrier said in a statement.

Each company will buy US$500 million worth of shares in the other, meaning China Unicom will increase its interest in Telefonica to 1.37 percent while the Spanish firm will see its Unicom stake rise to about 9.7 percent based on current share prices, the statement said.

The agreement signed on Sunday by the two chairmen, Chang Xiaobing of China Unicom and Cesar Alierta of Telefonica, also better positions the companies to pair up in developing mobile service platforms and any new technology.

They also stand to get a stronger foothold in each other's geographic markets.

"It's a strengthening of the corporations," said Duncan Clark, chairman of the Beijing-based consultancy BDA China. "It's symbolic that that China Unicom wants to expand in Europe and Latin America. Telefonica is topping up in China."

Both firms have indicated they would deploy passive optical network technology, which increases downstream and upstream broadband capacity.

China Unicom's well-oiled WCDMA mobile network in China could become an asset for both, Clark said.

The Spanish firm, with more than 280 million customers in 25 countries, will propose to its board that it add a member from China Unicom, the statement said. A Telefonica representative already sits on the board of China Unicom, which is China's No. 2 mobile carrier with 167 million customers.

The two firms have a history of cooperation from 2008. That year Telefónica took its first stake in China Unicom, and in 2009 the two companies invested $1 billion in each other, giving the Chinese firm its first stake in the Spanish carrier.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags China UnicomChang XiaobingtelecommunicationCarriersmobileCesar AliertaTelefónica

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ralph Jennings

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?