MWC 17: Examining the Mobile Industry’s Digital Identity Solution

Authorisation and integration with emerging technologies are two of  Mobile Connect’s advances at this year’s GSMA Innovation City showcase

Identity is quickly becoming a priority for the wider digital community; developing new apps and connecting everyday devices may now be a simpler task than ensuring that they operate securely and in such a way that protects users’ privacy. It’s perhaps no surprise then that network operators, with their strong security and privacy credentials, launched their own digital identity solution, Mobile Connect.

Over the twelve months Mobile Connect has added over a billion users to its total number of enabled users, meaning that the identity solution is now available to over 3 billion people in 29 countries and supported by 51 of the world’s leading operators.

Mobile World Congress’ GSMA Innovation City, an urban environment showcasing the latest mobile technology, is the number one location to observe how the identity solution has evolved in lieu of the rise of new technologies and services.

Future Technologies

One of the most notable developments of Mobile Connect over the last year has been the emphasis on its long term flexibility; that is to say its ability to be used in conjunction with emerging technologies, particularly biometrics.

In an airline check-in demonstration from Aadhaar (issued by the Unique Identification Authority for India) and security giant Safran Identity & Security, Mobile Connect can be used to verify identity alongside biometric facial recognition. Here we are given a glimpse of how the mobile-based solution can be as secure, yet more convenient than using traditional passports. With Mobile Connect proving itself to be capable of offering interoperable cross-border services, it could be an application especially useful for populations that border neighbouring countries.

Similarly, the touch-based authentication service, MePIN, is another service which showcases how Mobile Connect can be integrated with modern biometrics – in this case to allow consumers to log-in to their bank account and authorise transactions.

Inside the City, Authorisation can also be used to verify identity for the purchase of age-restricted products. An NSTIC and InterBev connected vending machine demonstrated this is by allowing people to use Mobile Connect to prove their age before purchase simply by responding to a prompt on their handset.

Mobile Connect also has also shown itself to have a useful application in the rapidly evolving automotive sector; acting as a substitute for physical vehicle keys. After verifying identity, the user could also potentially use their phone to change other aspects of their vehicle.

Lives Services

The Innovation City also featured many live services with a diversity of applications. Perhaps most popular was Mobile Connect Music, a demo of a new mobile-based music streaming app, specifically designed to leverage the security and reliability of mobile networks. The fruit of Kuack Media Group, and three of the most renowned brands in the music industry, Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music Group (and their playlist brand, Topsify), the app allows users to access up to 10 million tracks once they log in via Mobile Connect.

Building on its reputation as a potential key enabler for a host of public sector services, the British Government’s demonstration illustrates how citizens can use Digidentity (which uses the Mobile Connect technology) to verify their identity in order to check their pension account details. Unlike other solutions developed in the private sector, Mobile Connect is uniquely positioned to serve the public sector because services such as annual tax returns occur infrequently, meaning there is less likelihood that other private sector universal solutions will be developed for this purpose.

Inside the GSMA Innovation City

The diverse array of Mobile Connect’s applications demonstrate the ways in which in the identity solution has evolved to meet the requirements of a rapidly changing digital market. Being able to serve multiple sectors and adaptable to emerging technologies, Mobile Connect represents how mobile networks can form the basis for a durable and secure identity solution at a time when the market needs it most.

Mobile Connect demonstrations inside the GSMA Innovation City are located in Hall 4, Stand 4A10/ 4A30