LIVE FROM CTIA 13, LAS VEGAS: Rovio COO Harri Koponen said the games maker welcomes closer cooperation with mobile operators to bring about benefits for both companies and consumers.

“We see operators as friends, a potential partner for us. We don’t see them as a competitor — we would like to connect ourselves with operators closely,” Koponen said in his keynote today.

With the debate raging about how OTT players are profiting at the expense of operators, Koponen noted that users can’t play Rovio games or view its recently-introduced Angry Birds animation series without online connectivity, making operators critical to the company’s progress.

But in addition to the OTT-operator relationship, Koponen said Rovio and operators should get their ‘fans’ together and “positively connected” to find out what value they can generate: “Together we can create partnerships with more value whatever we do jointly, not fighting against each other.”

“Why can’t we create something better, jointly, with the fans?” he added — although he was not specific about what form the created value might take.