Telefónica and TikTok join forces to improve user security with GSMA Open Gateway

  • The collaboration between Telefónica and TikTok will initially use Telefónica’s network bcapabilities in Brazil and can be extended to other countries and other operators that expose Open Gateway APIs.
  • Both companies are already working to improve the security and simplicity of TikTok onboarding processes such as user registration or password recovery. By using the mobile phone number for authentication purposes, SMS passwords or third-party verifications are no longer required, thanks to Open Gateway’s Number Verification API.

Barcelona, 26th February 2024. – Telefónica and TikTok, the leading mobile short-video form platform, today announced their strategic partnership to work together on Open Gateway. The announcement was made at Mobile World Congress (MWC), which kicked
off today in Barcelona and runs until Thursday 29 February.

Open Gateway is an industry initiative launched by the GSMA just over a year ago at MWC 2023. It aims to unlock the potential of telecom network capabilities in an interoperable, intuitive and programmable way through open and standardised APIs, enabling service developers to innovate new applications and functionalities. This evolution benefits developers, businesses, end users and ultimately the entire digital
ecosystem and society at large.

The agreement will allow TikTok to leverage Telefónica’s network capabilities. Initially, the collaboration will start in Brazil and can be extended to other regions and to other operators under the Open Gateway initiative.

The first line of work is focused on the design of an enhanced onboarding process to improve the user experience and make it simpler and more secure. TikTok users in Brazil will be able to register to the TikTok app or recover their password using their mobile phone number, without the need for an SMS or a third-party verification system, thanks to the security provided by Open Gateway’s Number Verification API.

The next lines of collaboration will allow TikTok to further enhance its users’ experience by incorporating other powerful features based on the current and future capabilities offered by Telefónica’s network, such as device location services, fixed and mobile network optimisation, blockchain-based transactions and edge computing solutions. All this functionality is offered under the strong privacy umbrella of the Open Gateway initiative and the CAMARA standard.

David del Val, Director of Open Gateway at Telefónica, said: “This collaboration with TikTok is a great example of how digital service providers can work with Telcos to improve the security and usability of their products. Thanks to the GSMA Open Gateway initiative, app developers can access all the capabilities of our networks in a standard way that is consistent across all Telcos. TikTok is a global reference in short-form video content and we are very excited to be partners. We look forward to expanding this partnership to other markets and exploring new opportunities to collaborate in the future”.

Isaac Bess, Global Head of Distribution at TikTok, comments: “Open Gateway represents a huge step forward in ensuring a safe mobile ecosystem for users, creators and partners alike, and we are thrilled to be a launch partner with Telefónica on this groundbreaking endeavour. In leveraging Telefónica’s network capabilities and the CAMARA standard, we will be able to offer more convenient, secure, and engaging services to our community in Brazil and beyond”.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article/press release are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the approved policy or position of the GSMA or its subsidiaries.

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