LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS SHANGHAI 2015: The number and size of mergers and acquisitions in the digital identity field will increase sharply in the next couple of years, predicts Pedro Calderon (pictured), head of authentication and digital identity at Ericsson, with the Swedish vendor hoping to play a role in such moves.
The majority of partnerships and M&A transactions, he told Mobile World Live, will likely involve mature technology companies partnering with startup and niche players to add key features such as SIM applets, risk engines and dynamic data analytics capabilities.
Ericsson is exploring partnerships in some rather unusual places – “we are talking and collaborating with our competitors and are consistently looking at startups in the mobile identity space”, he said. “We have listed a few smaller companies for potential acquisition rather than build from scratch certain key missing capacities.”
Calderon said the biggest challenge for mobile operators will be “overcoming the idea they can do everything on their own in a non-collaborative or non-federated way”.
The main short-term opportunities surround smart projects as well as financial and e-government services, which he said can make a big difference in quality of life for citizens and consumers.
The company’s short-term plans (first release of its MDI solution) is to comply with the GSMA Mobile Connect Service specification and help spread the value proposition of secure, convenient and easy authentication of end-users to online resources from mobile devices.
The next, and to certain degree parallel, stage he said “is to bring our mobile identity solution to focus on markets where it makes strong economic and business sense (e.g. financial and e-gov sectors), and moving the technology to the component level for industry 4.0 and smart applications embedded into our Internet of Things solutions.”