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Two Billion People, One API-Powered Identity Solution

Feb 29, 2016

Recently at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, GSMA announced that its Mobile Connect digital identity authentication service is now accessible to two billion people via 34 telco operators in 21 countries. The secure universal login solution has essentially become the telco industry’s answer to Facebook Connect.

From a tentative beginning, when operators were unsure of the value of collaborating with their competitors, the program has gained significant momentum and new converts in countries like India, where six operators are putting entirely new levels of cooperation in place. They’re establishing common commercial terms and a shared vision for Mobile Connect as a key part of the country’s Digital India initiative.

Two very difficult problems have been solved in the past several years. First, the Mobile Connect standard (built on OpenID Connect) has finally been adopted by forward-thinking operators who’ve realized that subscriber identity is a gateway to the monetization of OTT (over-the-top) services. Second, the problem of how to discover the telco operator for any incoming subscriber with a Mobile Connect identity has been solved with a global API exchange that manages interoperability across operators.

Operators are no longer arguing the merits of a simple, powerful mobile-based authentication solution. The race is now on to find how service providers and partners can benefit from such a service. Early pilots and trials have shown positive results in countries from the U.K. and Finland to Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

What’s next? How to enable banks, merchants, local and federal government service providers, travel agencies, and gaming companies to offer seamless, customer experience through the Mobile Connect authentication. The doors have been flung wide open to 2 billion people, and the party is on. Now the question is: will they come?

Learn more about API Exchange, a solution developed by Apigee for GSMA that enables operators to federate between their individual APIs to deliver cross-operator reach. API Exchange is the federation mechanism for Mobile Connect; its identity authentication solution is Apigee's Identity APIx.

And check out my presentation at Mobile Connect.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Join the conversation (or start one) in the Apigee Community.



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