An Uneasy Relationship Between Telecom and Tech

BARCELONA, Spain — For the next four days, a sprawling conference center here will become the global hub for the telecommunications and technology industries.

More than 80,000 people — including heavy hitters like Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook; Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission; and Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone — will gather to sign contracts and share contacts.

Yet despite the numerous networking events and business deals, there is a love-hate relationship involving some of the world’s largest mobile carriers and tech giants like Facebook and Google.

Both sides rely on each other to provide customers worldwide with high-speed Internet access and online services like music streaming and social networking. Yet as smartphones increasingly become the principal means by which people manage their everyday lives, the telecom and tech giants are jockeying to position themselves as consumers’ main conduit for using the Internet on mobile devices.

“By working with us, carriers often see a rise in the amount of mobile data people consume,” said Clément Cézard, head of business development at Deezer, a Paris-based music service similar to Spotify that has signed more than 30 deals with operators around the globe and now has more than six million paying subscribers worldwide.

“It’s all about partnerships,” Mr. Cézard said. “We get more users, and they can offer people access to online music.”

A version of this article appears in print on March 2, 2015, on page B3 of the New York edition with the headline: An Uneasy Relationship Between Telecom and Tech. Order Reprints| Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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