• Platform accused of lacking ambition by starting with only a handful of service providers and a basic service.

Verimi, a cross-industry digital identity venture backed by Deutsche Telekom (DT) and nine other companies, launched in Germany.

The launch had been much anticipated, primarily because it is backed by ten German multinationals, including DT, as well as Allianz, Axel Springer, Bundesdruckerei, Core, Daimler, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Lufthansa, Giesecke & Devrient, Here Technologies, and Postbank (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #69).

Despite all the hype, the backers have clearly decided on a phased launch rather than a ‘big bang’. Originally established in 2017, the platform is now live in Germany and will be expanded to the rest of Europe on a gradual basis. Furthermore, only the basic single sign-on service is available initially (described fashionably by Verimi as a “minimal viable product”), enabling customers to log in online using the video-identification process (“video-ident”) to authenticate identity cards and passports.

DT watchful

DT stayed behind the scenes for the Verimi launch, leaving Bundesdruckerei (a German manufacturer of banknotes and identity and registration documents), as well as Deutsche Bank and the Verimi organisation itself, to provide the latest information about the platform. It is likely that the next announcement from the Group (which previously described Verimi as a digital “master key”) in relation to this topic will come when Telekom Deutschland, and rivals Telefónica Deutschland and Vodafone Germany, launch the GSM Association (GSMA)-backed Mobile Connect authentication system in Germany later in 2018. The three operators have already revealed that Verimi will be the first major partner for Mobile Connect in Germany, offering it as one authentication option on the Verimi platform (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #71).

Deutsche Bank and Bundesdruckerei have integrated Verimi from the start — initially providing the green Verimi log-in button for online banking customers on the part of the bank and for uploading white papers at Bundesdruckerei. Digital service providers Compaio (finance), Docyet (healthcare), and WeltSparen (finance) have been named as the platform’s first application partners, while more partners and features — including payment services, the qualified electronic signature according to the European Union regulation eIDAS, and eGovernment integration — are expected to be added in a second phase “over the coming weeks”.

Verimia combination of the words ‘verify’ and ‘me’ — clearly has some big ambitions. Its objective is said to become the go-to single sign-on system in Europe, replacing rival platforms such as Facebook and Google. However, although welcomed as a viable European alternative to Chinese and US platform providers, particularly because of its data protection capabilities, some believe Verimi has dampened its potential impact by launching with only a few partners and a basic service. As described by technology news website t3n.de, “the doubts begin with a look at the app’s portfolio of providers. There it is revealed what Verimi can do today: not much”.

Be that as it may, the timing of Verimi’s launch is certainly fortuitous with regard to the current furore surrounding Facebook and the misuse of personal data. The platform has placed a strong emphasis on data protection and the fact that users retain full control over their own data. The idea is that users register once and can then use the digital services and products of the connected partners. They also decide for themselves which personal data they want to share with which partners.

Verimi is an open platform that can be integrated into applications and websites by application partners using standard protocols such as OAuth and OpenID Connect. It is also said to be in full compliance with the strict data protection and security requirements of the European Commission, including the General Data Protection Regulation norms that will enter into force in May 2018.

Not a zero sum game

  • Verimi‘s data privacy-led marketing is a clear fit with DT’s positioning for consumer and enterprise customers over recent years. However, the Group showed slight reticence towards backing of Verimi — being outside the initiative’s original support group when it was first announced in May 2017, and has yet to detail which of its services, if any, it plans to protect via Verimi.
  • This stance may be related to DT’s plethora of digital identity initiatives, and the difficulty of seeing how to fit them together and where to allocate resource. As well as Mobile Connect, a related, GSM Association-backed mobile authentication system is being prepared by T-Mobile US and American operator rivals (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #71). T-Systems’ corporate security arm Telekom Security also has a range of identity-oriented solutions for enterprises, with partners including Forgerock and ImageWare Systems (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #52 and passim).
  • DT has also been flagging exploration of blockchain technology as an identity enabler since 2017 (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #61). In February 2018, Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) was named a “founding steward” of the Sovrin Foundation, a not-for-profit digital identity solutions initiative.
  • The Sovrin network is underpinned by hybrid distributed ledger technology and purports to provide a private and secure framework for giving users a “self-sovereign identity” — a permanent and portable identity with which to transact securely online. This is operated by independent volunteer “stewards” in order to prevent any single organisation from exerting undue influence over the network. In its new role, T-Labs will provide “validator node services”, and dedicate hardware, security, and network capacity to assist in the operation of the Sovrin identity network.
  • T-Labs’ membership of the Sovrin Network is one of the initiatives driven by the unit’s Blockchain Group. Established in June 2017, this coordinates all blockchain initiatives across DT Group, with the aim of developing solutions based on distributed ledger technologies.

Image: Verimi.

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Contents

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

GROUP

Deals

SoftBank succumbs on Sprint-T-Mobile US merger [p6]

  • Table 1: People movement highlights

Supply chain

Data spinout secures key role in media buying [p10]

  • Agencies lose influence

Group Development

KNIPPR set for June shutdown [p12]

  • Screen return likely

Technology & Innovation

Decline in DT’s traditional R&D budget continues [p13]

  • Here comes DTCP
  • Table 2: Ups and downs of Group R&D expenditure

Google could supplant Nokia as EAN partner [p14]

  • A pre-take-off downer for EAN

DT joins TEAC club to disrupt network suppliers [p14]

  • Table 3: Eins, zwei, drei. First batch of startups to join DT’s TEAC in Germany
  • TEAC your startups well
  • Paris, London, Seoul, Berlin

Cracking the open source code

GERMANY

Partnerships

More content allies sign up to StreamOn [p17]

  • The big mo

Verimi goes live in Germany [p18]

  • DT watchful
  • Not a zero sum game
  • Table 4: Verimi ‘green button’ service providers at launch

EUROPE

Croatia

Six years later, TeraStream breaks cover [p22]

  • A long and winding Stream
  • Watch this space

Ericsson Nikola Tesla flags another Croatian mobile win [p24]Czech Republic

Czech hybrid broadband service gets a refresh [p25]

  • A stopgap

Greece

OTE uncaps another Coca-Cola HBC IT project [p26]

  • Love-hate relationship

SYSTEMS SOLUTIONS

Strategy

T-Sys performs its own digital transformation [p29]

  • All the toys
  • Al-Saleh just warming up, with more dramatic moves likely in offing

Microsoft backs T-Sys’ digital game-plan at Messe [p31]

  • Microsoft: public friend number-one?
  • IoT at Messe: announcements and re-announcements
  • DT doesn’t make a stand at CeBIT

Contracts

Mixed messaging as T-Sys nets Sparda “mega” IT deal [p34]

  • T-Sys evidently still captivated by IT outsourcing

USA

Strategy

FCC ignores TMUS red flag on mmWave conditions [p36]

  • Figure 1: Nationwide split of available mmWave spectrum
  • Things troubling TMUS
  • It’s also the economics, stupid
  • What’s all the UMFUS about?
  • Table 5: Auction 101: 28GHz frequencies under the hammer*
  • Table 6: Auction 102: 24GHz frequencies under the hammer*
  • Scheme needs fresh air

FURTHER READING

INDEX

Index

A

Africa 34
Airrays 15
Alcatel-Lucent 9, 14
Allianz 18
Alphabet 14
– Google 14, 18
América Móvil 9
Americas
– Canada 12
– United States of America (USA) 6, 7, 14, 35, 37, 38
– – Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 36, 37, 38, 39
– – Government 7
Apigee Corp. 14
Asia-Pacific
– China 7, 18
– Japan 7
– South Korea 15
AT&T 7, 9, 17, 36, 37
Axel Springer AG 18

B

BT Group 6, 15
Business Connexion 9

C

Capgemini 9
CeBIT 31, 33
Cinco Capital 15
Cisco Systems 8, 23
Cloudera, Inc. 10
Coca-Cola 26
Cortina Systems 23

D

Daimler AG 18
Deutsche Bank 18, 19
Deutsche Telekom 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 39
– Corporate
– – Headquarters 15
– Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners 13, 15
– – emetriq 10
– Europe
– – Austria 8, 22, 25
– – Croatia (Hrvatski Telekom) 17, 22, 23, 24
– – Czech Republic 22, 25
– – Greece (see OTE) 17, 23
– – Hungary (see Magyar Telekom) 8, 23
– – International Carrier Sales & Services (ICSS) 8, 23
– – Montenegro (see Magyar Telekom) 24
– – Netherlands 8, 12, 17
– – Poland (Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa/PTC) 8, 17, 24
– – Slovakia (Slovak Telekom/T-Mobile) 25
– European Aviation Network 14
– Executives
– – Al Saleh, Adel 29, 31
– – Arnold, Heinrich 29
– – Chocholek, Mariusz 8
– – Clauberg, Axel 15
– – Czajkowski, Pawel 8
– – Höttges, Timotheus 7, 31
– – Janssen, Uwe 15
– – Klingenburg, Peter 29
– – Legere, John 6
– – Lorenz, Arndt 29
– – Lorenz, Peter 29
– – Markowski, Piotr 8
– – Metzger, Hansjorg 9
– – Nafziger, Rolf 23
– – Pabst, Magnus 9
– – Ray, Neville 7
– – Rekasi, Tibor 8
– – Sievert, Mike 7
– – van der Walt, Mardia 8
– Ex-executives
– – Arnoldner, Thomas 9
– Germany 6, 10, 17, 18, 19, 23, 25, 26
– – T-Online 10
– Investments
– – Magyar Telekom (see separate) 8, 9, 23
– – OTE (see separate) 26
– Product and Innovation
– – hubraum 6
– – Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) 19, 29
– Products and services
– – Connected Car 25
– – StreamOn 17
– Systems Solutions 28
– – T-Systems 8, 9, 10, 19, 26, 29, 31, 33, 34
– – – Detecon 29, 30
– – – South Africa 9
– – – Telekom Security 19, 33, 34
– Technology
– – BNG (Broadband Network Gateway) 23
– – TeraStream 22, 23
– Toll Collect 33
– USA 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 17, 19, 36, 37, 38
Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners 13, 15

E

Ericsson 12, 23, 24
– Croatia (see Ericsson Nikola Tesla) 24
Ericsson Nikola Tesla d.d. (see Ericsson) 24
Espial 12
Europe
– Austria 9, 22, 33
– Belgium 12, 15
– Croatia 9, 22, 23, 24
– Czech Republic 22, 25, 33
– France 15
– Germany 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34
– – Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen (BNetzA, RegTP, FNA, or German Federal Network Agency) 17, 19
– Greece 26
– Hungary 8
– Macedonia 9
– Montenegro 24
– Netherlands 6, 12
– Poland 8, 24
– Romania 17
– Slovakia 25
– Switzerland 8, 9
– Turkey 17
– United Kingdom (UK) 15
European Union 17, 18, 19
– European Commission 18

F

Facebook 12, 14, 18
– Telecom Infra Project 14
Fon 6
France Télécom
– Mobistar 12
– Orange 12, 15, 17
Fraunhofer Institute 32
Fujitsu 9

G

Giesecke & Devrient 18
Gogo 14
GSM Association
– Mobile World Congress 30, 31, 32
GSM Association (GSMA) 18, 19

H

High-Tech Gründerfonds 15
Hrvatski Telekom (see DT, Croatia) 17, 22, 23, 24
– Combis d.o.o. 23
– MAXtv 22
Huawei Technologies 25, 31

I

ImageWare Systems 19
Infosys Technologies 9
Inmarsat 14

J

JIBE Inc. 14

K

KPN
– BASE 12

L

Lufthansa 18

M

Magyar Telekom (see DT) 8, 23
– Executives
– – Mattheisen, Christopher 8
– Montenegro (Crnogorski Telekom) 24
– T-Systems Hungary 8, 26
Market segments
– Machine-to-machine (M2M) 31
– Over-the-top (OTT) 12
– Value-added services (VAS) 25
MetroPCS Communications Inc. 7
Microsoft 29, 31, 32
Middle East 34
Mindshare 10

N

Neustar 10
Nokia 14, 23

O

Objective Partners 10
OTE (Hellenic Telecom. Org. SA, see DT) 26
– Cosmote 17, 23
– – Greece 17, 23

P

PPF Group 33

R

RTL Group 17

S

Salesforce 29
SAP 26, 29, 30, 31, 32
Singapore Telecom 17
SK Telecom 15
Slovak Telekom (see DT, Slovakia) 25
SOFTBANK CORP. 6, 7
– Son, Masayoshi 7
Sprint Corporation 6, 7, 36
– Boost Mobile 7
Swisscom 17

T

Technology
– 2.5G 7
– 2G 7
– – GSM 18, 19
– 4G
– – Long Term Evolution (LTE) 14, 25, 32
– 5G 7, 8, 9, 14, 32, 36, 37, 38
– Blockchain 19
– DSL 25
– Fibre 12, 23, 25
– IP 15, 23
– IPTV 12, 23
– M2M 31
– MMS 29, 30
– Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) 32
– OpenStack 15
– R&D 13, 15
– SDN 23
– Spectrum 36, 37, 38, 39
– – 1800 MHz 12
– – 2100 MHz 12
– – 2600 MHz 12
– Telemedicine 23
– Web Services 14
– W-LAN 6, 14, 17
Tele2 12
– Netherlands 12
Telefonica Group 18
– Europe 22
Telekom Austria 8, 9
– Austria
– – A1 8
Telenet 12
Telkom South Africa 9
Twitter Inc. 22

V

Value-added services 25
Verimi 18, 19
Verizon Communications 36, 37
Virgin Group
– Virgin Mobile 7
Vodafone 8, 17, 18, 19, 22
– Europe Region
– – Czech Republic 22
– – Germany 17, 18, 19
– – Hungary 8

W

WPP 10

About

About Deutsche Telekomwatch

Report: #72
Published: April 2018
Next report: May 2018
For more information visit: Deutsche Telekomwatch