Mobile Operators Hope to Turn Mobile Phones into Website Username System

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The GSMA today announced the launch of a collaborative initiative supported by leading mobile operators to develop an new service that will allow consumers to securely access digital services using their mobile phone account for authentication.

The aim of the Mobile Connect service is to develop a single mobile phone number-based authentication solution that fully respects users online privacy.

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." said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA.

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.

Mobile Connect will aim to 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.

A pilot project involving the GSMA, Orange, Morpho and the Catalonian healthcare service has also agreed to test the authentication mechanisms in a live environment.

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 said that it 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.

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