One of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, TCL Corporation which makes the popular Alcatel brand, has signed an application reseller agreement deal with Family Zone Cyber Safety (ASX: FZO) to install its software on its upcoming range of smartphones in Australia and New Zealand.
The deal was formally completed via TCL Mobile International, the legal owner of the Alcatel brand and could see FZO’s software installed on all newly manufactured smart devices within the next 3 months.
The terms of the agreement stipulate a 3-year binding term with 90-day termination rights included for both parties.
TCL Corporation is currently one of the world’s top ten manufacturers of smartphones, covering the low to mid-end of the smartphone market that typically attracts young families and children as users given the strong balance between price point and functionality.
In Australia, Alcatel currently holds the number 3 position when measured by volume of unit sales having become a go-to choice for many parents looking to introduce mobile phones to their children for the very first time.
Given Alcatel’s feature-rich devices and low price point, the inevitable bugbear of online security has reared its head and put severe concerns into the minds of many parents.
Research into parental attitudes continually finds high levels of anxiety and concern around their children’s use of technology. However, adoption of parental controls remains low, possibly due to a lack of education and understanding within the relatively new phenomenon of ‘cybersecurity’.
According to FZO, a major obstacle for parents in adopting secure parental controls is the “adoption challenge” — the notion that digital devices are often too complex and confusing for people without prior experience.
FZO says that its “alliance” with Alcatel will look to conquer this challenge first and foremost with easy-to-use software that remains consistently simple across all devices.
In a statement to the market, FZO said that “through this alliance, and use of Family Zone enabled Alcatel devices, parents will get stunning devices, affordability and the ability to effortlessly take effective control of their kid’s devices.”
Welcoming safety into the family
FZO’s software is capable of ensuring this problem is effectively reconciled, by being able to monitor internet activity across all devices and allowing parents real-time administrator access for all their children’s devices, regardless of manufacturer or operating system.
Family Zone’s on-device technology is called Mobile Zone. Mobile Zone is platform agnostic and is able to perform at full capacity on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows and Chromebook devices.
FZO’s Family Zone solution has already been successfully tested on several Alcatel smartphones and tablets, which likely means the two companies will forego any compatibility issues that can often arise from such cross-sector partnerships.
According to their agreement, Alcatel will preload FZO’s ‘Mobile Zone’ software directly at the point of manufacture and automatically allow parents the option to install Mobile Zone without any downloads or additional steps that can often delay or hinder parents’ desire to have parental control software installed.
The deal is expected to have a significantly positive effect for Alcatel and FZO, but also, is expected to deliver sophisticated functionality for both parents and telecommunications companies, thereby improving brand loyalty and the quality of the service package being offered.
As FZO’s first agreement with a manufacturer of end-user devices, today’s news effectively validates FZO’s overarching eco-system strategy and could mean further deals with other manufacturers in the future.
Safety in a telco wonderland
For telecommunications providers, the deal helps to ease regulatory pressure regarding ongoing cybersecurity failings globally and directly addresses parent’s concerns about allowing their children using the internet unsupervised.
“In the past 18 months we’ve achieved a lot of success and a lot of ‘firsts’, our alliance with Alcatel is, however, one of our proudest. Family Zone’s vision is for our technology to be embedded on every device and network that our kids use,” said Tim Levy, Managing Director of Family Zone.
“We are in schools across the world and have agreements with telcos and access point manufacturers globally. Our agreement with Alcatel completes the picture with a manufacturer of mobile devices joining the ecosystem,” said Mr Levy.