MTN Group and five other global leading telcos in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America have created an alliance called Alaian, to connect their open innovation ecosystems to reach 50 countries and 700 million customers.
The five other members of Alaian are Bouygues Telecom, Cellnex, KPN, Telefónica and WINDTRE.
With this alliance they seek to join forces to share best practices on innovation and generate different use cases on the latest market developments and technologies they are implementing, in their ambition to constantly innovate.
The alliance is also committed to global open calls to attract companies that are aligned with its strategic innovation priorities. In this context, they are taking the opportunity to announce a global call for start-ups, which opens today.
Alaian will be looking for start-ups with 5G-based use cases in Communications & infrastructure, Industry, manufacturing & logistics, Mobility, Utilities & Energy, Metaverse & Web3, Media, Entertainment & Gaming and Retail.
The selected companies will be able to access the best 5G connectivity and edge computing resources of the alliance’s member telcos, as well as carry out tests in the 5G LABs with the intention of integrating them into the solutions of the different telcos.
In addition, the companies will also be able to exchange knowledge with specialists and network teams with whom to co-develop and solve problems together, taking advantage of the technical, commercial and product support of the alliance members’ network of experts, mentors, and trainers.
The start-ups selected by the alliance will be able to benefit from the resources available to the telecoms such as knowledge of the markets they are in, access to their network of contacts, design and build pilots with customers around the world.
Apart from that, there is the opportunity to help start-ups additionally with fundraising, training for entrepreneurs, visibility and exposure at the alliance partners’ headquarters, flagship shops, demo centres, labs, and hubs to showcase their product to the network of customers and partners.
In addition, equity investment will be possible from any of Alaian’s member investment vehicles, as well as exposure to its global network of venture capital firms.
“We are very proud to participate in the Alaian program. For a long time, we have decided to get closer to those who have the ideas, those who innovate and create. With Start-ups and Open Innovation, we can invent the future together. This new alliance gives us the chance to meet new start-ups from different backgrounds, to discover and share opportunities with companies that share the same challenges as us (5G development, customer experience, sustainable development, metaverse…)”, Stéphane Allaire, Chief Innovation Officer of Bouygues Telecom.
“It’s an honour to participate and contribute our expertise in this powerful initiative with these partners which will bring the best of both worlds, corporate and start-up, to drive Open Innovation around the most relevant topics for the telcos nowadays”, Jose A. Aranda, Global Innovation director of Cellnex.
“Strong cooperation in opening our doors and resources for start-ups with these global telco’s, will increase all our innovation capacities and add value in terms of potential market reach, funding etc for start-ups. We highly value this initiative. KPN is a strong believer of Open Innovation, as is also shown in winning the Open Innovation Challenger by the International Chamber of Commerce for the 4th year in a row. So, let’s make impact together”, Jacob Groote, Innovation and Partnership manager at KPN.
“We are proud to form part of the Alaian alliance which will give us an opportunity to work with and share best practices with globally competitive telcos. Innovative digital solutions are a huge part of our strategy and our involvement in the alliance will further expose us to partnering with start-ups that are a strong fit with our Ambition 2025 strategy of leading digital solutions to Africa’s progress”, Chika Ekeji, Group Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer of MTN Group.
“We are proud to bring together Alaian the synergies of six of the world’s most prestigious telcos to collaborate and drive open innovation at Telefónica, and to enrich entrepreneurial ecosystems in the countries where we are present”, Irene Gómez, Open Innovation Director of Telefónica.
“We are excited to join Alaian together with other global telco leaders that are all facing a common challenge: expanding beyond the core business, creating, and capturing value through new processes, products, services and business models. We are confident that this alliance will help us drive our overall innovation agenda and generate an optimal combination of core business development whilst also pursuing new solutions”, Luca Monti, WINDTRE 5G & IoT Project Director.