LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 MIDDLE EAST: Several Middle Eastern-based mobile operators pledged their support for the GSMA-led Mobile Connect online authentication solution at a special workshop event in Dubai this morning.
Representatives from STC, Ooredoo, Orange, Etisalat, du and Umniah outlined how they were gearing up for full commercial launches of the services in the coming months.
The operators are among those backing Mobile Connect as a solution that will provide secure access to digital services without the need for subscribers having to remember multiple passwords and usernames. Their commitment means the solution will be made available in 11 markets across the Middle East and Africa.
Ashish Sidhra from du, for example, noted that the UAE-based operator is currently piloting the service internally and with vendor partners with an eye to a full commercial launch in Q1 next year.
STC’s general manager of business development, Nasser Al Saadon, added that the Saudi operator was planning a commercial pilot by year-end.
“Mobile Connect is increasing security and simplifying the customer experience and provides one password for any kind of service. Orange is planning to launch Mobile Connect in Jordan, Egypt and Morocco across this region,” said Thierry Barba, director of ecosystem development at Orange.
Local research group Arab Advisors presented the results of a recent survey, which revealed that more than 70 per cent of respondents in both the UAE and Jordan use just one username/password combination for most for the websites they use – underlining the security risk. More than 90 per cent of respondents cited security as the chief concern when making online payments.
Mobile Connect works by combining the user’s unique mobile number with their unique PIN in a two factor authentication process that can be adapted to the level of security required for the service being offered.