I’m kinda breaking the rules this week by presenting two OHA members in one profile. By titling this colomn 34 Weeks of OHA, I’m implying that there will be 34 articles, one for each OHA member, over the space of 34 weeks.
I’m deviating from this rule for a few reasons. First, the two companies I’m profiling this week not only fall right next to each other on the alphabet, they’re also similair in that they’re both European, they serve adjacent countries, and they’re both so inherently uninteresting that trying to space them out over two articles would try the patience of everyone involved. Second, I’ve already blown the whole 34 weeks thing by skipping so many weeks that we’re already pushing one year; this is something of an attempt at catching up. Third, it’s my frickin’ article and my freakin’ rules and I’ll break those rules as I see fit; if you don’t like it go get your own article (you’ll probably do a better job at it than I do, anyway.)
How the OHA site classifies them: Mobile Operators
What the OHA site says about them:
TelefÃ³nica – TelefÃ³nica is one of the largest telecommunication companies in the world, providing communication, information and entertainment solutions, with presence in Europe, Africa and Latin America and with more than 212 million clients of fixed and mobile services.
Telecom Italia – Supplying 34.3 mobile lines, around 23 million landlines and 7.3 million broadband clients, Telecom Italia is a Italy’s leading ICT enterprise with a significant international presence in Europe and South America. The Group trades through pre-eminent brands Telecom Italia, Alice, TIM, La7, MTV Italia, APCom and Olivetti in fixed-line and mobile telecommunications, Internet and media, office & system solutions.
What they do:
They’re mobile carriers. Thankfully, they’re the last carriers I’ll have to profile for this damned column.
Let’s start with TelefÃ³nica. They’re Spanish. In fact, until the opening of the market in 1997 they were the only telecom operator in Spain, which is a pretty cushy gig if you can get it. They still control 75% of the market in Spain.
They’ve spread: the Czech Republic and Slovakia; Italy; their 2006 acquisition of O2 brought them into Germany and the UK; they have a presence throughout Latin and South America. They have even begun penetrating into Africa and China. All this Spanish-Empire-style activity has made them the third-largest telco in the world, helped them do fifty billion Euros worth of sales in 2006, and brought them their share of controversy–monopolistic and allegedly unethical practices have made TelefÃ³nica the target of governments the world over.
TelefÃ³nica has their fingers I’m all the traditional telco pies: landline, broadband, and, of course, mobile.
Telecom Italia are Italian. They’re the product of the merger of several Italian telecom companies they’re neither ad big or as far-reaching as TelefÃ³nica, although they do have a presence in several European and South American countries.
What they bring to OHA and Android:
Penetration. There’s really not that much exciting about either player. They only thing they really bring is reach, further coverage for Android.
There’s nothing wrong with that, it just doesn’t make for a very good article. Sorry.
The one interesting point of note here is that they both have significant penetration into South America, which is kind of always forgotten about. There’s a lot of people down there (at least, that’s what I’m told). Significantly, Google’s Orkut owns the Social space in Brazil, and getting an Android handset into that country would, I’m sure, be a boon for them.
And now, for lack of anything lese to say, I’m going to leave you with a couple of bits from the OHA quotes page.
“TelefÃ³nica strives to bring the best of the web to our customers, wherever they are. We are pleased to be a part of the Open Handset Alliance, which we believe will enable new and innovative services to be launched on a robust and open platform. We look forward to delivering customized phones based on this platform for our customers.”
— AdrÃan GarcÃa Nevado, Corporate Commercial Director of TelefÃ³nica S.A.
“Telecom Italia is already focused on the mobile Internet framework and services and strongly believes that it will be the key successful approach for future revenues. In this scenario the Open Handset Alliance represents an important initiative for Telecom Italia and for all its members to work together and to speed up the development process of a new open OS for mobile Internet services.”
— Riccardo Jelmini, Executive Vice President, VAS Domestic Mobile Services of Telecom Italia