BAE Systems, a defence, aerospace and security company, has unveiled a five-year partnership with mobile communications giant Vodafone Group, under which it will provide businesses with a range of advanced communications security products and services, initially focused on smartphones and tablets.
The move will grow BAE's cyber and security arm, BAE Systems Detica.
The company also said that it plans to select Vodafone as its preferred supplier of mobile communications worldwide, excluding the US.
The first commercial element of the strategic partnership between Vodafone and BAE Systems will be a new cloud-based mobile security solution, Vodafone Mobile Threat Manager, which will be brought to market in spring of this year, and initially made available to Vodafone's largest 1,500 global enterprise customers.
The Mobile Threat Manager is design to work across all networks to safeguard against malicious attacks and block inappropriate content, without having an impact on device performance.
Once Vodafone is appointed as BAE's preferred global supplier of mobile communications, it will provide services to BAE Systems' 35,000 UK employees from July 2013, with a view to expanding these services across its global workforce over the term of the contract. Vodafone is additionally discussing the supply of Unified Communications to BAE Systems in the UK. The partnership also provides a framework for both companies to explore a broader range of joint security products for other business areas including interconnected devices using machine-to-machine (M2M) technology.
Ian King, Chief Executive Officer of BAE Systems, said: "This partnership is unique, not only in bringing together a defence and security player with a major communications provider, but also in its ability to help global enterprises realise their ambitions around leveraging the future of communications technologies in a secure manner.
"These technologies are subject to the vulnerabilities of cyber space and we can provide the mobile marketplace with protection against today's threats and the advanced threats of the future."
Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Group, added: "Mobile is transforming enterprise; businesses big and small now rely on mobile services to an extent unimaginable five years ago.
"As a new generation of mobile-centric security risks begins to emerge, our customers are looking for our help to protect their businesses. Our partnership with BAE Systems will strengthen further our commitment to meet our customers' increasingly complex cyber security needs.
"We also look forward to working with BAE Systems as the company's communications partner."