Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile communications companies by revenue, has announced the launch of its Silicon Valley integrated R&D Centre, Vodafone Xone.
Under the Vodafone Xone program Vodafone, with 382 million customers in more than 30 countries, will provide technical expertise, potential financial assistance, logistical support and facilities to help promising US technology companies gain a fast track into proof-of-concept trials across Vodafone’s global network.
As Vodafone’s first fully integrated mobile R&D centre in Silicon Valley, Vodafone Xone is intended to:
- identify and qualify innovative technologies from startups, R&D labs, universities and venture capital portfolios with the potential to deliver new and innovative products and services to Vodafone’s global customer base;
- provide selected companies with commercial feedback. Companies will be offered support from the Vodafone Xone team of professionals whose expertise spans business development, network and device architecture, consumer electronics, payment and billing mechanisms, data analytics and content delivery. Up to 24 companies are able to use on-site office and test space within Vodafone Xone;
- test products and services in the Vodafone Xone test and development lab, a fully functional replica of Vodafone’s global networks including a protected environment for developers to test solutions. Capabilities include 2G/3G/LTE radio and an Internet Protocol (IP) network together with access to the IP service framework IP Multimedia Subsystem. The lab is interconnected via a dedicated backbone to Vodafone’s European networks. Vodafone Xone is also closely aligned with Verizon’s Innovation Centres in San Francisco and Waltham, Mass., giving select companies access to Verizon Wireless’s development 4G LTE network, the high-speed, next-generation platform common to both Vodafone and Verizon Wireless, as well as additional collaboration resources;
- assess options for strategic investments in start ups via Vodafone Group’s corporate venture capital arm – Vodafone Ventures.
Siavash Alamouti, director of Vodafone Group Research and Development said: “Vodafone Xone offers Silicon Valley start ups access to more than a third of a billion customers in more than 30 countries around the world. We’re excited about this opportunity to share our scale and global expertise with the brightest and best the valley has to offer.”