News Flash: Mobile Operators Progress Blockchain-Based Identity

SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Turkcell and SoftBank among those using distributed ledger technology to underpin digital identificationNews Flash: 

A clutch of announcements at MWC19 highlighted how mobile operators are progressing the development of blockchain-based solutions to support digital identification. SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom (DT) announced they will jointly develop and commercialise a blockchain-based mobile ID system.  At MWC 2019, visitors to the DT booth and the SK Telecom booth could create their own personal IDs based on blockchain technology. DT said the solution enables users to choose which personal data to share and with whom, stressing the exchange is not processed and doesn’t require any authorisation from a formal institution.

Meanwhile, Turkcell introduced a blockchain-based service for ID management for authorising international roaming and donations. Turkcell said it is sharing its blockchain network with Lifecell and Lifecell’s Belarus-based telecom operator partner BeST, and is in talks with other operators to further expand the network. The GDPR-compliant ID management solution stores the information required for verification of users in a blockchain network and removes additional identity verifications, according to Turkcell, thereby giving users control over their personal data. “Our blockchain solutions provide secure digital payments, barter systems, identity verification and IoT applications,” said Turkcell Customer Experience and Information Technologies EVP Serkan Ozturk. “These efforts will help us improve our digital services and raise the bar in customer experience.”

Turkcell has joined the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG), which launched a blockchain-based “Identification & Authentication” working group at MWC19.  Two leading members of the group, tech company TBCASoft and SoftBank, said a new foundation application framework, called CrossCarrier Identification System (CCIS), will provide a blockchain-based solution that can be operated by CBSG carrier members. Takeshi Fukuizumi, VP of SoftBank said, “We envision that individuals should create encrypted digital identities, instead of using and storing multiple usernames and passwords on databases here and there with various qualities of privacy protection. We have been working with TBCASoft on solving identification and authentication problems, and have an answer with CCIS. We believe that telecom operators under the CBSG Consortium will play very important roles in the global identity business.”  Launched in September 2017 by TBCASoft and SoftBank, the CBSG Consortium’s founding members include Sprint Corp. and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co.

For more information, please see the Deutsche Telekom press release, the Turkcell press release and the SoftBank press release.