Telefónica launches business to sell mobile data

O2 parent company Telefónica is to offer user data from customer's mobile phones to organisations who want to analyse customer activity

O2 parent Telefónica today launched a business venture to enable organisation to use data from customer’s mobile phones.

Named Telefónica Dynamic Insights, the business will be aimed at both public and private sector groups who have large numbers of visitors, such as retailers.

It will aggregate data from either machine-to-machine networks or from mobile data networks to provide information to the business. These might include metrics such as when the busiest times are or what age groups they are serving the most. It is hoped this knowledge will help such groups improve their services.

The first offering from Telefónica Dynamic Insights will be called Smart Steps. It will focus on the ability to track customers visiting a location and the difference between them at different times of day.

Telefónica claims retailers will be able to tailor their services to these groups as a result. In the public sector, town councils will be able to work out which areas are popular and when to rationalise the need for parking or public transport, for example.

Realising the potential of big data

Telefónica has promised the data taken from its mobile customers will be anonymised and aggregated so no private details will be passed on.

Big data is one of the key building blocks of the digital economy,” said Stephen Shurrock, chief commercial officer at Telefónica Digital, the company’s business division. 

“Approached in a smart and responsible way it has the potential to transform every part of business and society – providing economic growth and improving people’s lives.

“Smart Steps will help retailers better understand and meet their customers’ needs; reduce costs through improved efficiency; and make better informed decisions.”

Telefónica has signed a deal with market research firm GfK to develop further products, hoping its insight into the user data market will push it in the right direction.

Telefónica is already working on fraud-protection and traffic-management tools.

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