On the first day of Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018, we wanted to take the pulse of the mobile market. So, we talked with the Global Head of Technology for APAC, Jai Rajaraman. Jai gave us an exclusive interview about the trends in the Asia Pacific region and about APAC’s initiative to encourage digital identity by creating a secure ecosystem for users.
“All our data is becoming binary”, Jai pointed out and we couldn’t agree more. The fact is, right now, both authorities and technology giants are asking for your fingerprints, face prints and some, even vein information, to log in or enter a country. The traditional I.D. will slowly be replaced with a D.I (digital identity).
In the next decade, users will use biometrics to do much more. From accessing healthcare services to starting new bank accounts, they will be part of a digital identity ecosystem covering all aspects of their lives.
“At the end of the day the consumer who is sick is not going to line up at his mobile phone store, he’s still going to go back to a healthcare provider. We’re trying to built an ecosystem where everyone has a role – the mobile operator, the device manufacturer, the healthcare provider”
If there’s one region where this is going to make waves, that will definitely be the Asia Pacific. Here, the GSMA already put the foundation for a “robust digital identity framework that allows management of identity for the end user with their explicit consent [whether it’s] logging on a device or authorizing a transaction”. Mobile Connect is in use by “over half a billion customers worldwide”.
There’s definitely potential if companies and governments can ensure people their data is in safe hands. As our recent survey showed, users still fear that, by using face recognition, for example, their data could be used by OEMs for other purposes.
If that hurdle can be overcome, the Asia Pacific region stands to become a leader in this area. Last year, the tech mobile industry accounted for 5.5% of the total GDP of the region, which is about 1.7 trillion US dollars! In the same time, Jai predicts that cellular IoT will grow to about 1.8 billion by 2025 and there will be around 11 billion total connections here.
It’s definitely an exciting time to live in!