What to expect at Mobile World Congress 2017

- Technology - Feb 23, 2017

Mobile World Congress 2017 is fast approaching. As the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, it’s a turning point in the year where we uncover the latest trends and insights for the industry.

The explosion of mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) has created a huge amount of digital information about each of our lives, flowing freely across multiple devices. Combined with accelerating broadband speeds and our growing reliance on digital services, consumers’ data becomes a prime target for cybercrime – the cost of which is growing every year. In 2015, it totalled $400 billion (Lloyds of London), but by 2019, it is expected to rise to $2 trillion (Juniper Research). Such an escalation of the security threat demonstrates that people desperately need a simpler, more secure way of navigating the digital world, while protecting their identity and information.

At Mobile World Congress this year, we expect to see several key trends and services that will tackle this challenge head on.

Mobile identity helping ensure our ‘digital wellbeing’

The solution lies in our pockets.  Mobile phones provide an ideal mechanism for protecting our identity and online assets. In 2017, secure mobile identity will play a critical role in helping us live a safe, secure digital life. It will become a shield for protecting our personal information, as well as vehicle for conducting secure transactions. In fact, according to Deloitte’s recent TMT India Predictions 2017 report, mobile identity authentication methods like the GSMA’s Mobile Connect are already growing in popularity because they remove the need to remember multiple username and password combinations. Mobile identities will become integrated in more business and consumer services, expanding the use of identity credentials in an ever growing, smarter ecosystem.

At the same time, mobile identity will be key to building trust in the digital ecosystem. This is vital if businesses want to earn and retain their customers’ loyalty, an increasingly important currency for all kinds of business. For the mobile environment, the importance of trust was emphasised in a recent MEF survey revealing 85% of consumers took some kind of action over a mobile app because of privacy or security concerns, and 52% deleted an app for the same reasons (MEF Global Consumer Trust Report 2016).

Gen Y and Z relying on their mobile identities

Generation Y and Z, the mobile generations, will exert substantial influence in the market this year. Generation Y’s global spending power is estimated to be $2.45 trillion (Youbrand), while Generation Z, the generation that has grown up on social media, will expect even more ‘on demand’ services to be instantly available through their mobile devices. These are the generations that rely on their mobile phones for everything, driving the need for the industry to provide a smarter, easier, and more secure mobile experience. These generations will demand mobile-only businesses, making decisions based not just on their needs, but also on their feelings and beliefs. Getting mobile identity right for these audiences, with a simple secure user experience, will make the difference between capturing this substantial market - or missing this demographic wave entirely.

Biometrics: going mobile, going mainstream

Telstra Research compared the usage and perceived strength of different kinds of authentication methods, and there were some clear winners (Telstra Research). Physical biometrics and multi-factor authentication were perceived as the strongest kind of authentication, yet had the lowest penetration in the market. This unfulfilled demand is expected to be behind the trend for these types of authentication. In 2017, as well as growth in multi-factor authentication, more solutions are expected using ‘behavioural’ biometrics, where a collection of measurable behaviours, such as how we walk, or our route to work, could be used to recognize and verify identity.

Looking ahead

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of new devices and services. But as our digital lives grow and become more complex, we have a responsibility to think more carefully about the role mobile plays in securing and simplifying our online lives. Mobile World Congress will be a crucial moment for this, where we will see the latest innovations that will make this secure future a reality.

Read the January 2017 issue of Business Review Europe magazine. 

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