Miranda Dobson

Telefónica launches "big data" unit

Spanish telecoms firm, Telefónica has announced the establishment of a new “Dynamic Insights” unit, which will provide companies worldwide with data analysis. The owner of mobile network provider o2 in Britain, Germany and countries around Europe will sell information collected from its customers. Businesses will benefit from the new unit, as Telefónica said it would enable them to become more effective.The company hopes to increase revenues through this new income source.

Vodafone recently confirmed a merger deal with the business to expand both parties’ services by pooling their infrastructure. Telefónica will now provide information to businesses around the globe, alongside improved services to its mobile customers. The first product, Smart Steps, has been developed to determine the number of visitors to one location at any time. This will enable companies to effectively measure footfall, as one key advantage. The company also announced a new strategic partner with GfK, a market research organisation, which will support Telefónica’s product development in the UK, Germany and Brazil.

Stephen Shurrock, chief commercial officer for Telefónica Digital said: “Big data is one of the key building blocks of the digital economy. Approached in a smart and responsible way it has the potential to transform every part of business and society – providing economic growth and improving people’s lives … Smart Steps will help retailers better understand and meet their customers’ needs, reduce costs through improved efficiency, and make better informed decisions. It will help retailers to determine the best locations and formats for new stores and tailor product promotions in existing stores. We are delighted to be partnering with GfK, a global leader in market research, on product development.”

Partner GfK’s chief operating officer, Dr. Gerhard Hausruckinger, commented: “We are constantly working to help our clients understand the impact of technology on changing consumer behaviour, and particularly the unique challenges and opportunities presented by mobile. Together with Telefónica we will develop a portfolio of market-leading products and services.”

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