One year after launching its Mobile Connect digital ID initiative, the GSM Association says that 17 cellcos have now launched the service in 13 countries, and more launches and beta trials are slotted for 2015.
According to the GSMA, Mobile Connect has been launched in Bangladesh by Robi (part of the Axiata Group); in China with China Mobile and China Unicom; in Indonesia with Indosat (member of the Ooredoo Group), Telkomsel and XL Axiata; in Malaysia with DiGi (part of the Telenor Group); and in Sri Lanka with Dialog Axiata and Mobitel. Meanwhile, Etisalat has enabled Mobile Connect in eight markets in Africa.
Mobile Connect enables users to create and manage a universal identity that will authenticate them for mobile and digital services such as e-commerce, banking, health and digital entertainment, as well as e-government portals, via their mobile phones.
The goal is to create a mobile-based digital identity that addresses the problem of logon/password fragmentation, said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, chairman of the GSMA and president/CEO of Telenor.
“How many passwords and logon names do you have? If you follow the statistics, you may have up to 26 passwords and five logins,” he said during the opening keynotes at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona Monday. “It’s a big issue. Privacy and security are major issues for mobile consumers, so creating a single, secure digital identity is key to addressing that.”
Baksaas said that Mobile Connect “could be a potential single sign-on function that can take care of these privacy and security issues.”
Operators committed to launch Mobile Connect later this year include Grameenphone, Bouygues Telecom, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, Telenor (Pakistan), Telefónica and Swisscom. Orange is committed to launch the Mobile Connect service in France, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Romania and throughout the Orange footprint in the Middle East and Africa. Vodafone will launch this year in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Etisalat, Ooredoo, STC and Zain will work together to launch Mobile Connect throughout the Middle East and North Africa region and across their markets.
Meanwhile, a number of digital service providers covering ecommerce, insurance, email, online travel and classified sites are now using Mobile Connect commercially, including Cipika, Continental Insurance, MyDeal, Mudah, OLX, Rumah Tiket, Souq.com and WOW.
The GSMA said it has entered into framework contracts with Mondia Media – who will use Mobile Connect in their digital entertainment solutions, starting with a music streaming service from Universal – and Signicat, which will use Mobile Connect for digital ID solutions such as electronic document signing and secure online banking.