Telefónica, Repsol JV takes shape as Solar360

Telefónica has formally taken the wraps off a new joint venture with Spanish energy company Repsol in the field of solar photovoltaic panels, adding to its burgeoning portfolio of adjacent services that it sells alongside its more traditional connectivity offerings.

The Spain-based operator first revealed plans to collaborate with Repsol in this field in March. It has now announced that the new venture will be called Solar360 and will start selling services this month after receiving regulatory approval.

The plan is to sell solar panels to private customers, communities and enterprises in order to help them reduce their energy bills — which is certainly timely, given soaring energy prices around the world.

Telefónica chairman Emilio Gayo indicated that Telefónica already uses photovoltaic energy in its own centers, "and we want to contribute our operational and technological capabilities to guarantee Solar360's customers the best service."

The two groups plan to jointly market and sell solar panels, offering advice on installation and services as well as a range of value-added services related to home energy management. They previously indicated that they intend to "explore additional opportunities to jointly drive other home and business energy services."

Combined approach

Telefónica has already dipped its toes into solar panels: Movistar Paneles Solares was established in 2020 and sold solar panels in collaboration with IDNA in Valencia, Murcia and Alicante. However, this particular venture is no longer to be found on the Movistar Spain website, suggesting that the Repsol JV is taking its place.

The new JV augments Telefónica's existing portfolio of adjacent services. For example, the Spanish operator offers financial and insurance services as well as telemedicine services under Movistar Salud, device insurance under Seguro Dispositivos and connected car services via Movistar Car.

The operator also has experience in establishing joint ventures with companies in different industries: Movistar Prosegur Alarmas was established in collaboration with Prosegur in March 2020 and sells home security alarm services.

What's more, Telefónica recently overhauled its converged service offering to make it easier for customers to combine these non-traditional services with mobile, home broadband and TV offerings. The operator replaced the former Movistar Fusion bundles with miMovistar, which is described more as an "ecosystem" of services that allows customers to pick and choose what they want with the help of an online configurator.

The different services are grouped under headings such as miConectividad (connectivity); miEntretenimiento (entertainment); misFinanzas (finances); miHogar (home); and miBienestar (wellness). More services will be integrated in future, such as Movistar Car/Moto, Movistar Money, home insurance, energy and additional connectivity options.

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— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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