Vodafone Group and NTT DOCOMO have announced the expansion of their existing partner market agreement to address the delivery of machine-to-machine (M2M) services to the global enterprise sector. The two companies have been working together for a number of years and this development will allow both parties to benefit from the opportunity offered by the ‘Internet of Things’ and M2M services across a variety of vertical sectors.
In other news, earlier this week, Vodafone announced its intentions to acquire Cobra Automotive Technologies through a voluntary tender offer of EUR1.49 (USD2.02) per share in cash, valuing the entire share capital of Cobra at EUR145 million. Cobra is a leading provider of security and telematics solutions to the automotive and insurance industries. Headquartered in Italy and listed on the Borsa Italiana, Cobra has a global presence which includes operations in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. The acquisition of Cobra is in line with Vodafone’s strategy to expand its M2M capability beyond connectivity. Cobra’s telematics products and expertise will enable Vodafone to provide a more comprehensive range of end-to-end services to automotive customers.
In its most recent annual report, Vodafone noted that it increased M2M connections from twelve million to 16.2 million in the year ended 31 March 2014. Going forward, as part of the company’s GBP19 billion Project Spring initiative, the company hopes to extend its M2M reach to 75 countries within the next two years.