LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS SHANGHAI 2015: Jean-Paul Cottet, Orange’s SEVP, talked up the prospects for the GSMA’s Mobile Connect initiative, as well as Orange’s own deployment of the SIM-based authentication solution.
“The key issue is trust,” he said, listing three characteristics. The first is simplicity, important because a complex procedure can also be a confusing one for users, which decreases trust; next is security and the need to authenticate using a secure model which, he acknowledged, can be the opposite of simplicity. And the third characteristic is privacy, a growing issue as users perceive the value of their own data, and become concerned about how it is handled by service providers.
A recent Orange survey revealed the extent of user scepticism. As Cottet related, the survey discovered nearly 80 per cent of companies are hardly trusted in how they hold personal data. And, worryingly, that figure is decreasing for e-commerce.
“That is the bad landscape on which we are working. We are not trusted by our customers, and we are not improving the situation. What can we do as operators?” he asked.
Operators have the SIM and knowledge of their customers to offer to service providers, he answered. These two factors are the nub of Mobile Connect, the GSMA-backed initiative which replaces conventional passwords with a single PIN. Users do not need to leave an application to enable Mobile Connect, meaning it ticks the simplicity box. It also works on every handset, not just smartphones.
Cottet pointed to the number of operators around the world where Mobile Connect is being deployed, including in China. Orange itself is on the list. The operator plans to deploy the solution across its footprint. In Spain, he said Orange is working with the country’s other operators, “which is the best way”. In emerging markets, Mobile Connect will debut in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco at the end of this year. The platform is now ready and being tested.