Vodafone Germany said it will join the high-tech association Silicon Saxony to reinforce its role as a competitor in mobile on a global scale. Joining the association will help Vodafone network with the large number of high-tech companies, start-ups and research institutes in the state of Saxony. In May, Vodafone announced that it would open a new global research and innovation center in Dresden, the capital of Saxony. Dresden won in an international competition between eight major European cities. Networking with local partners through the Silicon Saxony association is essential to prepare for the opening of the center.
Silicon Saxony has now 375 members. It is the largest high-tech network in Saxony and one of the largest microelectronics and IT clusters in Germany and in Europe as a whole. It connects manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, universities, research institutes, public institutions and startups. The association focuses on themes including artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, the Internet of Things, sensor technology, energy efficiency and edge computing.
In today’s hyper-competitive mobile environment, operators cannot afford to rest on their laurels and simply rely on purveying traditional services such as voice, SMS and even data. For growth in revenue, they must grow in relevance. Therefore it is incumbent on MNOs to engage with new technologies for value-added services and to explore new area of business.
Vodafone Germany’s membership in Silicon Saxony is a good example of the type of initiative that can do a great deal to help achieve this relevance. By networking with various kinds of firms, the operator will not only be exposing itself to new technology ideas that may be monetizable, it will also be forming relationships that can be parlayed into future partnerships. Its members’ strengths in IoT, robotics and AI, among other related areas, feed directly into the kind of cutting-edge research and development that are essential for MNOs, especially the large ones, in today’s markets.
In addition, the networking within Silicon Saxony should be very useful in launching Vodafone’s innovation and research center in Dresden. Ultimately, if successful the center will yield specific products and services that Vodafone can sell to business customers and also, perhaps to a lesser extent, to consumers, as well.