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Lookout inks deal with Deutsche Telekom

Consumer security, app distribution, and technology incubation are the driving forces behind a new team-up between European telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom and Lookout Mobile Security.

Heikki Makijarvi, Senior Vice President Business Development at Deutsche Telekom, and Lookout Mobile Security CEO John Hering.
Heikki Makijarvi, senior vice president of business development at Deutsche Telekom, and Lookout Mobile Security CEO John Hering. Lookout Mobile Security

San Francisco-based Lookout Mobile Security and European telecommunications behemoth Deutsche Telekom announced today that they have entered into a partnership that representatives say will offer significant benefits to both companies.

"Deutsche Telekom is very good at network-side distribution, while we're very good at software and innovating," Lookout CEO John Hering told CNET explaining the collaboration.

Heikki Makijarvi, senior vice president of business development at Deutsche Telekom, also expected good things to come from the partnership. "There is a major demand for security and privacy in Germany and European market. It's probably one of the best places in the world to build privacy innovation," he said. However, he added, Silicon Valley is better for software and app innovation.

Lookout's primary app offers numerous features under a freemium business model, including anti-malware scanning, contact and image back-up, lost device location, remote data wipe, and privacy analysis. It also makes apps like Plan B, to locate a lost phone even if it doesn't have a lost phone locator app on it; Threat Tracker for exploring showing what threats are affecting people globally; and an iOS version of Lookout Mobile Security.

The deal will have some immediate impact, they said. This includes promoting Lookout Mobile Security apps directly to Deutsche Telekom customers, with the German company making its Berlin facility available to Lookout to begin developing new products. These could include services as well as apps. Lookout itself will begin working on European localizations, but both men agreed that there was more than product development at stake.

"When we say 'smartphone,' we mean the device and the service. They are not separate. We want one user experience," said Makijarvi, in explaining his take on why people use some smartphones more than others. "We want every user of Lookout to have a tailored, local experience," said Hering, while Makijarvi added that smartphone penetration is dependent on "a strong feeling of control over your device and data."

While neither Hering nor Makijarvi would speculate as to what projects are in development, although Makijarvi did say that, "mobile payment is a very interesting area."