Spanish telecoms company Telefonica and the UAE’s incumbent telco Etisalat have announced the signing of a Strategic Partnership Agreement to enter into a broad-based cooperation. Effective immediately, the agreement will enable both companies to improve efficiency, drive innovation and generate savings. The agreement is expected to reinforce each company’s leadership in their respective markets, and provide a stronger basis to compete globally in the changing telecommunications industry. Under the terms of the agreement, Telefonica and Etisalat will establish mechanisms to enable them to draw on each other’s experience in various strategic areas, including collaboration on technological standardisation, new global technology initiatives, R&D and new emerging products and services designed to capture digital growth opportunities such as M2M, financial services or cloud-based services. Today, the Etisalat group is represented in 18 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, whilst Telefonica’s footprint covers 25 markets in Europe and Latin America; the two companies do not compete in any of their operational markets.