SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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Leading Mobile Operators Unveil Mobile Connect Initiative To Provide Consistent And Interoperable Approach To Managing Digital Identity

- Mobile Ecosystem Players Collaborate to Deliver Seamless, Secure Mobile Identity Services for Consumers

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The GSMA today announced the launch of a collaborative initiative, supported by leading mobile operators including Axiata Group Berhad, China Mobile, China Telecom, Etisalat, KDDI, Ooredoo, Orange, Tata Teleservices, Telefonica, Telenor, Telstra and VimpelCom, to develop an innovative new service that will allow consumers to securely access a wide array of digital services using their mobile phone account for authentication. The Mobile Connect service will simplify consumers' lives, offering a single, trusted, mobile phone number-based authentication solution that fully respects their online privacy. In addition to leading mobile operators, key players from across the ecosystem are among the early supporters of this initiative, including Dailymotion, Deezer, Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Morpho, Oberthur and VALID.

"As we move to an increasingly connected world, more consumers than ever are accessing information and using a range of online services across both mobile and fixed line networks," said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. "This digital life brings great benefits to consumers, but also introduces new concerns over the security of online identities. Mobile operators are ideally placed to provide the necessary authentication capabilities to enable consumers, businesses and governments alike to interact and access services in a private, trusted and secure environment. The Mobile Connect initiative we are introducing today addresses this critical requirement."

For consumers, digital identity solutions such as Mobile Connect offer privacy protection, reduce the risk of identity theft and simplify the login experience for a range of services, such as retail, healthcare, government and banking, among others. Mobile Connect will provide a streamlined experience for users; they will no longer need to create and manage multiple user names and passwords as the authentication and identification solution being developed will use the subscriber's mobile phone number or mobile user name and information contained in the secure SIM card. The standard-based Mobile Connect service will utilise the OpenID Connect protocol, offering broad interoperability across mobile operators and service providers, further ensuring a seamless experience for consumers.

Industry Support for Mobile Connect
Leading mobile operators and companies across the mobile ecosystem voiced their support for the Mobile Connect solution:

Jamaludin Ibrahim, President and Group CEO of Axiata Group Berhad, said: "Axiata is very pleased to be part of the Mobile Connect initiative coordinated by the GSMA and is looking forward to working with other operators, service providers, SIM vendors and other parts of the mobile identity ecosystem to launch services that offer real benefits for consumers in terms of convenience and security, while respecting their privacy. We welcome service providers to work closely with us to ensure that the solutions suit their needs and requirements. We have already launched a mobile identity service in Sri Lanka via Dialog, and we are looking forward to working with our other operators so that Mobile Connect can be available to all consumers in the countries we have operations."

"Etisalat has proven that mobile technologies can be secure and life-changing across its footprint. In our home market of UAE, Etisalat is supporting the government's vision and plan to move government services into the electronic realm. Soon the mobile phones of UAE residents will also serve as National ID, and users are able to login and access more than 100 government services using their mobile devices. Similarly, we are working across other business verticals including mCommerce and mHealth to provide Personal Data based services to address growing needs of our customers across countries where we operate," said Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group.

Tadashi Onodera, Chairman, KDDI, said: "In Japan, we have already launched a mobile identity service, au ID, which is available to all of our customers. This is a key enabler for our value-add and content services and is a huge success. We are now actively supporting the Mobile Connect initiative by the GSMA with the other operators, sharing our experiences and looking for ways to deliver a consistent offering across operators."

Dr. Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo, said: "Personal data is an important issue for our customers across the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia, which makes this initiative a key strategic opportunity for us. We are committed to working with the GSMA on a range of propositions related to Mobile Connect, because we believe that digital services can enrich people's lives. The first set of Mobile Connect services will be launched by Ooredoo's company Indosat in Indonesia as early as 2015."

Stephane Richard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orange, commented: "Mobile Connect is an easy, secure and universal solution for customers to connect to all digital services. It is for Orange an opportunity to show its capacity to innovate with simple services while improving personal data protection."

Axel Dauchez, CEO of Deezer, said: "This new innovation from the GSMA is set to provide a much simpler experience for Deezer users, which means people can focus on what's important to them - discovering great new music. With around 65 per cent of all music listened to on Deezer via a mobile phone, Mobile Connect will help provide music fans with a seamless mobile experience as well as increased convenience across other devices."

Olivier Piou, CEO of Gemalto, said: "The Mobile Connect SIM-based solution works on any handset and can be instantly deployed over the air, enabling it to reach the majority of existing SIM cards. It delivers a consistent user experience and one-click access across a whole range of services offered, whatever the security level required. To boost the adoption of Mobile Connect, Gemalto will embed the mobile connect applet in the ROM code of all new SIM cards at no cost for operators, once the GSMA solution is available. As Mobile Connect complies with industry standards, it will be very easy for service providers to integrate."

Dr. Walter Schlebusch, CEO of Giesecke & Devrient, said: "G&D has built up a broad experience over the last years in the integration of SIM-based mobile ID solutions. We have managed successful projects with several network operators around the globe. The SIM-card is one of the most secure and natural ways to store identities on a mobile. We are happy to support this initiative with the experience we gained and to come to a harmonised solution for the whole industry."

Philippe d'Andrea, Executive VP, Business Solutions Division and CEO, Morpho Cards GmbH said: "As one of the key players in digital security, Morpho is pleased to contribute to an initiative supporting the deployment of mobile identity services. It will enable our customers, MNOs and service providers, to manage all kind of online services and offer them to millions of users. We believe that trust in security of services will be built on strong enrolment, a strong secure element and strong authentication. The Mobile Connect application will be included in our standard SIM offer once the solution is available."

"The GSMA Connect initiative is a major step to enhance the user experience in the cloud, protecting the privacy and the data of consumers. OT contributes to Mobile Connect and brings an additional option with the implementation of FIDO authentication in the SIM. This solution provides a high level of security and a rich user experience for mobile users as it can be combined with mobile biometrics," said Didier Lamouche, CEO of Oberthur Technologies. "Consumers and service providers are demanding more security and convenience to enhance their digital experience in mobility. The GSMA Mobile Connect initiative will enable Mobile operators to deploy interoperable SIM-based identity services for mass adoption."

Mobile Connect Pilot in Barcelona
A pilot project run through the Mobile Word Capital initiative in the Mobile World Capital Barcelona and involving the GSMA, Orange, Morpho and the Catalonian healthcare service has also agreed to test the authentication mechanisms in a live environment.

The CEO of Fundacio TICSalut, Dr. Francesc Garcia Cuyas, said: "I am glad to announce that the Catalan Personal Health Record service, which has a potential user base of five million citizens, will benefit from a mobile connect solution, enabling them to access their medical data and interact with healthcare professionals. I believe Mobile Connect is one of the key elements that will lead the future in mHealth. This will reinforce how citizens play an active role in managing their health. Orange, as a key player in mHealth, will facilitate access to medical records creating the adequate environment for new services and applications to be delivered to citizens."

The Director of the mHealth Competence Center at Mobile Word Capital, Dr. Joan Cornet added: "Secure access to personal health records is our priority. We are delighted that Orange and Morpho are paving the way, providing a simple and interoperable solution."

Mobile Connect Operator Launches
In line with its commitment to providing customers with the highest possible level of security, Orange intends to provide Mobile Connect-based solutions across its footprint in Europe and Africa and the Middle East by 2015. Ooredoo is also aiming to provide similar services in South East Asia around the same time frame. The GSMA expects to see additional operator launches of Mobile Connect in 2015.

"We call on mobile operators, SIM card manufacturers, service providers and other key mobile industry participants to work with the GSMA to drive scale for this exciting initiative," said GSMA Director General Anne Bouverot.

For more information on Mobile Connect, please visit www.gsmamobileconnect.com.

About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

 

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