Vodafone Group Plc (LON:VOD) and BAE Systems Plc (LON:BA) strike five-year security deal.
Vodafone (LSE: VOD) (NASDAQ: VOD.US) has announced that it has entered into an agreement with BAE Systems (LSE: BA) (NASDAQOTH: BAESY.US) to provide businesses with a range of advanced communications security products and services.
The partnership, which will initially run for five years, sees one of the world's largest mobile communications companies partner one of the world's largest defence, aerospace and security companies. The strategy will focus on the security of smartphones and tablets to begin with.
Vodafone chief executive officer (CEO) Vittorio Colao stated:
"Mobile is transforming enterprise; businesses big and small now rely on mobile services to an extent unimaginable five years ago. As a new generation of mobile-centric security risks begins to emerge, our customers are looking for our help to protect their businesses. Our partnership with BAE Systems will strengthen further our commitment to meet our customers' increasingly complex cyber security needs."
The first commercial element of the strategic partnership will be a new cloud-based mobile security solution named 'Vodafone Mobile Threat Manager'. This is expected to be brought to market in Spring 2013, and will initially be available to Vodafone's largest 1,500 global enterprise customers.
Vodafone Mobile Threat Manager works across all networks, scanning traffic to and from a company's mobile devices in order to safeguard against malicious attacks and block inappropriate content, without impacting on device performance. The communications and mobile security market is expected to be worth £1.9bn by 2015.
Strengthening the partnership
BAE Systems has also declared Vodafone as its communications partner, with the multinational telecoms company supplying mobile communications to BAE Systems' 35,000 UK employees from July 2013, "with a view to expanding these services across its global workforce over the term of the contract".
BAE Systems CEO Ian King commented:
"This partnership is unique, not only in bringing together a defence and security player with a major communications provider, but also in its ability to help global enterprises realise their ambitions around leveraging the future of communications technologies in a secure manner. These technologies are subject to the vulnerabilities of cyber space and we can provide the mobile marketplace with protection against today's threats and the advanced threats of the future."
The move shows BAE Systems' continued commitment to grow its cyber and security arm, BAE Systems Detica, which contributes around 7% of the company's profits and revenues.
Shares in the companies were largely unaffected by the news, with both dropping marginally by 0.4% in early trade.
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> Sam owns shares in Vodafone, but not in BAE Systems. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Vodafone.