Digital Identity: Commercial Opportunities for MNOs
2013.11.15   |   31 pages   |   New Services & Technologies

Miles Cheetham



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The rapid growth of the digital economy in the developed world since the mid 1990s has placed online and mobile services at the heart of business and government strategic thinking and planning. As the industry matures, there are increasing requirements to provide the infrastructure and enablers that will ensure the continued success of the sector, addressing consumer, business and public sector concerns.

One of the key enablers of the future digital economy will be trust - provided by a highly secure Digital Identity service.

  • Digital Identity will be critical to underpin the growth of the digital economy as a whole and is rightly being given a great deal of attention by national governments and regulators worldwide.

Concerns over security and trust must therefore be comprehensively addressed if the potential value inherent in the digital economy is to be realised. So Digital Identity is synonymous with fundamental trust. This trust will allow private and public entities to know with whom they are dealing, and vice-versa will allow the individual to know that they are dealing with a trusted party. As consumer and business confidence increases, so consumers will transact more often and more freely. Increasing amounts of consumer-controlled identity information with increasing value to the economy will be consumed, enabled by stronger authentication, increased privacy and higher security in a safer online environment.

MNOs can play a critical (and well-remunerated) role in the provision of services around Digital Identity, provided they understand both the needs of the market and how they are best positioned to offer services. This report explores the issues around Digital Identity and the opportunities open to MNOs that are ready to develop their own part in this vital value chain.

Keywords: value chain and business model, EU Regulation, Digital Identity, US Regulation,

Table of Contents
1 Overview 1
2 Introduction 2
2.1 Background to the Report 2
2.2 Report Content 2
2.3 Report Glossary 2
2.4 Further Questions and Feedback 4
3 What is a Digital Identity? 5
3.1 Real Individuals Online 5
3.2 Levels of Assurance 5
3.2.1 Determining the LoA required 6
4 Digital Identity in a Trust Framework 9
4.1 Rules Within a Trust Framework 9
4.2 Roles within a Trust Framework 10
4.2.1 Digital Identity Service Provider (DISP) 10
4.2.2 Attribute Provider (AtP) 10
4.2.3 Identity Provider (IdP) 10
4.2.4 Identity Proofing 10
4.2.5 Relying Party (RP) 11
4.3 Using a Digital Identity 11
5 EU & US Digital Identity Initiatives 13
5.1 European Union 13
5.1.1 STORK (Secure Identity Linked Across Borders) 13
5.1.2 TDL (Trust in Digital Life) 13
5.1.3 Identity Assurance Programme (IDAP) 14
5.1.4 Assure UK 14
5.2 United States 14
5.2.1 NSTIC (National Strategy for Trust Identities in Cyberspace) 14
5.2.2 OIX (Open Identity Exchange) 15
6 Regulatory, Legal and Standards 16
7 Importance of Digital Identity to MNOs 18
7.1 Economic Benefit 18
7.2 New Commercial Opportunities 18
7.2.1 MNO Assets Applied to Digital Identity Service Provision 19
7.2.2 Proven Services as Entry Point for Value Creation 19
7.2.3 New Services Enabled by Value in Personal Data 19
8 Customer Proposition for MNOs 21
8.1 Customer Use Cases and Needs 21
8.1.1 Use Cases for Digital Identity 21
8.1.2 Consumer Needs 22 Control and Privacy 22 Convenience 23 Trust 23 Value 23
8.1.3 Relying Party Needs 24 Better Customer Relationships 24 Business Efficiency 24 Security 25 Simple Administration 25
8.2 Proposition 25
8.2.1 Consumer Proposition Features 25
8.2.2 Relying Party Proposition Features 26
9 Monetising a Digital Identity Service? 28
9.1 Charging Models 28
9.1.1 Relying Party Pays 28
9.1.2 Relying Party Pays on a Transactional Basis 29
9.1.3 Consumer Pays 29
9.2 Value Chain 29
10 Recommendation for MNOs 31
  Appendix - Feedback Questions 32

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