Smartphone maker High Tech Computer (HTC) signed a memorandum of understanding Friday with a group of Asian telecom service providers who will jointly buy equipment for mobile Internet from the Taiwanese company.
The group, called Conexus Mobile Alliance, consists of 11 mobile carriers who together have 310 million customers.
Joint procurement will help keep smartphone prices down, said Alison Kao, spokeswoman for Far Eastone, a Taiwanese carrier and alliance member. The companies are also looking at the benefits of collaboration in the area of design.
"If someone is doing a customized design, we can consider doing a similar one," Kao said.
A statement from the alliance on Friday did not specify the type or quantity of equipment HTC would sell to them. Conexus and HTC were not available for comment on the arrangement between them.
The deal will bring HTC more business in the area of mobile data, a statement from Conexus said, quoting an HTC deputy general manager for Asia.
HTC makes mobile phones and tablets. It is the first smartphone maker to sign a deal of this kind with the alliance, according to reports.
Conexus members include large operators such as NTT DoCoMo of Japan, Hutchison Telecommunications of Hong Kong, and Indonesia's PT Indosat.
HTC reported a 174.5% increase in first quarter revenue compared to the same period last year. It shipped 24.67 million units last year, which earned it a 7.1% share of the global smartphone market, according to research firm IDC.
Mobile carriers formed the alliance in 2006 to enhance international voice and data roaming for their customers.
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