GSMA Mobile Connect service secures beta trial status

News

Two operators are launching a beta trial of the GSMA Mobile Connect service that will allow consumers to use their smartphones as secure authentication when they access digital services.

Sri Lankan operators Dialog Axiata and Mobitel are launching the trial in conjunction with Sri Lankan consumer retail sites Kapruka, MyDeal and WoW and will be made available to participating subscribers by the end of this month.

SIM technology vendors Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Morpho, Oberthur Technologies and Valid are working with the GSMA to develop authentication applets.

These authentication applets will be available to be downloaded over the air using SMS, in the expectation that this should facilitate the rapid roll-out of Mobile Connect services.

The SIM applet provides the challenge/response mechanism through which the user interacts with the Mobile Connect service. 

By using the security of the SIM, twinned with the secure mobile channel, operators are able to provide a high level of assurance for authentication and identity assertion services. 

Furthermore, the use of the SIM as a secure repository and verification engine supports user privacy by ensuring that the user’s PIN is never stored centrally or accessible to any third party, including the mobile operators. 

The SIM technology providers will include this applet as a standard feature in the SIMs offered to mobile network operators with a targeted availability by end of 2014. 

Etisalat Group is also expected to launch Mobile Connect services later this year, and Orange intends to provide Mobile Connect services across Europe and Africa and the Middle East by 2015.

“Consumers are increasingly concerned over the security of their digital identity and mobile operators are ideally positioned to enable consumers to manage this by ensuring they can interact and access services in a private, trusted and secure way,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General of the GSMA.

“Both the trial and the support of the major SIM technology providers are important steps as the industry works in cooperation to accelerate and establish a consistent and standardised set of services for managing digital authentication and identity globally.”