A group of six big-name operators formed an alliance to attract so-called disruptive start-ups they hope will help create novel use cases for existing and emerging technologies including 5G and fibre.

Bouygues Telecom, Cellnex, KPN, MTN Group, Telefonica and WindTre created the Alaian alliance with the aim of sharing best practices to foster innovation and create new services they can then sell to subscribers.

As a first step, the alliance made a “global call” for start-ups developing 5G-based products and services. The fields of interest include communications and infrastructure; industry; manufacturing and logistics; mobility; utilities and energy; metaverse and Web3; media; entertainment; gaming; and retail.

The Alaian 5G Open Call starts today (28 April) and closes on 31 May.

Successful start-ups will be given access to 5G and edge computing resources, and offered support in areas spanning fundraising and training.

In a joint statement, WindTre 5G and IoT project director Luca Monti noted operators face “a common challenge” of how to expand beyond their core business and create additional value.

“We are confident that this alliance will help us drive our overall innovation agenda”, Monti said, citing the need for operators to continue to develop their core connectivity businesses while also “pursuing new solutions”.