INTERVIEW – Yves Portalier about the 5 most significant changes in the telecommunications market

Yves Portalier is Vice President & General Manager for the Telecom Business Unit at Morpho (Safran)

Q: Within the Telecom Business Unit you are driving a business  that is extremely dynamic. What are the most significant changes and developments in the market today – and tomorrow?

YP: Definitely, yes. The market around the most secure element in the mobile ecosystem – the SIM card – is evolving. We see a transition to 4G / LTE networks in all regions, including emerging countries, where the efficiency of the 4G network is helping mobile networks to deploy powerful new services. With other industry players we are already beginning now to specify the new generation of security solutions that will enable 5G, the 5th generation of mobile networks.
What is also noticeable is that embedded SIM and Secure Elements are attracting a lot of attention from the entire telecom ecosystem.  
This is also driven by the fact that the Machine to Machine (M2M) market is growing steadily. New technologies are enabling acceleration of this development: the embedded SIMs associated with remote SIM provisioning solutions make it possible to distribute a unique configuration of products all around the world, with flexible customization in the hands of the customers.

Q: Morpho is a leader in biometrics and digital ID, what are the implications for Telecom market?

YP: Mobile ID is becoming a real business now, through the GSMA Mobile Connect initiative on the one hand, and customer registration on the other. One of the most significant developments in the market is that thanks to some mobile phones, biometrics are bringing convenience and becoming a popular identification and authentication solution. We estimate that 50% of smartphones should be equipped with biometric technologies in the next 5 years.  As world leader in secure biometric technologies with more than 40 years of experience,  Morpho is committed to delivering solutions enhancing customer experience and security for multiple applications.

Q: What will these changes mean for Morpho's customers?

The role of our customers will evolve significantly over the next ten years, and we will be able to offer new sets of solutions enabling them to create new business opportunities and develop their relationship with their own customers. The evolution towards M2M**, Internet of Things* and more embedded security will also drive us to address new categories of customers in the device industry.

Most significant changes in the telecommunications market

  • Transition to 4G  (LTE) and 5G
  • M2M market growing steadily
  • More attention to Embedded SIM and Secure Elements
  • Mobile ID becoming a real business
  • Biometrics becoming the means of identification and authorization in the mobile market

Q: Indeed, a lot is happening in this market. Can you explain in more detail how Morpho is going to address these challenges?

YP: To address the challenges of the telecoms market, our strategy is to consider all three pillars: SIM card and related value added services, embedded security, mobile ID and biometrics. We constantly adapt our skills and processes, to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction. And of course, innovation and differentiation are important – for us as well as for our customers. For example, we have enhanced our portfolio of products to address the major 4G/LTE deployments and to prepare the new generation of services relying on this new generation of 5G networks. Morpho is actively contributing to the specifications of embedded SIM technologies with many standardization bodies and through Proof Of Concepts executed with market leaders. The set of mobile services we are delivering is increasing year after year. As for Mobile ID, we are offering a complete Mobile Connect solution, providing a single trusted, secure and convenient SIM-based way to authenticate and respect online privacy.  We have also recently announced a customer registration pilot performed with a huge telecom operator and customer, Airtel, in India to allow paperless, secure and quick onboarding of customers.

Overall, the starting point to address upcoming market challenges is ideal: we have strong assets in the fields of Secure Elements, secured services and biometrics, and we master the main elements of security for devices and for the  hosted services needed for administrating them remotely. In addition, Morpho has a strong presence with all major mobile network operators (MNO) worldwide, and we are one of the few SIM card vendors selling products and services to all the biggest telecom MNO groups.


* IoT, the Internet of Things: the large ecosystem of interconnected objects (sensors, devices, machines), systems (control systems, apps which analyze and do something with data from the object).
** M2M, Machine to Machine: a subset of the IoT, communication of data between two machines. Can be undertaken over cellular (mobile networks) or other communication channels, for example wifi.

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