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Get the latest announcements from MEF Members across the mobile ecosystem globally in this weekly review of member news…

Good CX? Look no further than mobile authentication

Mijo Soldin is the Director of Operator Strategy and Partnerships at Infobip.

The pandemic has uprooted life for everyone, from distributors to sellers to consumers; and with this change in the economy, a heavier dependence on digitalization has formed. Businesses across industries have placed a concentrated effort on transforming their digital presence to meet the growing needs of hungry consumers accustomed to instant gratification. The ‘age of convenience’ has evolved from expecting quick customer service to receiving your product with the click of a button.

As a result of this new era, consumers are looking for new ways to purchase increasingly expensive items online more frequently without risking financial security – this means heightened awareness around how companies are protecting them (or not protecting them).

Digital identity technology, initially heralded as a solution to online fraud, is predicted to expand to a $5.2 trillion market over the next five years, says Accenture. Years ago, this technology was typically seen as a back-end element to ensure and enhance revenue and was rarely ever catapulted into the mainstream like it is today. Although many companies knew about the risks of potential monetary losses, until recently, very few brought to light the potential cybersecurity issues their customers might face.

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Mavenir touts neutral host gains in UK

Mavenir CMO and EVP Stefano Cantarelli (pictured) told Mobile World Live neutral host deals are driving demand for the company’s open RAN products in the UK.

Recent projects in the country from neutral host providers Ontix and Vilicom are providing opportunities for the software provider, which supplied each with its MAVAir software to provide an open, virtualised RAN.

Ontix and Vilicom equip enterprise locations with radio infrastructure which operators then pay to connect to: the former is deploying infrastructure in its own buildings as a proof-of-concept and Vilicom is building a private LTE network at an offshore windfarm.

Mavenir is also deploying Sercomm small cells at an Ontix office building and its own open RAN platform at the neutral host company’s data centre.

Cantarelli said each small cell incorporates a radio and base station, and can support two mobile operators. Ontix is using the 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz bands, with virtualisation creating “two logical base stations”, Cantarelli explained.

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TransUnion to acquire Neustar for $3.1 billion

TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Neustar, a premier identity resolution company with leading solutions in Marketing, Fraud and Communications, from a private investment group led by Golden Gate Capital and with minority participation by GIC.

The acquisition expands TransUnion’s powerful digital identity capabilities through the addition of Neustar’s distinctive data and analytics, enabling consumers and businesses to transact online with greater confidence.

“TransUnion and Neustar share a similar strategic vision, culture and focus on building innovative identity-based solutions which enable trusted connections between companies and people,” said Charlie Gottdiener, President and CEO of Neustar. “The two companies’ complementary businesses, products and relationships will offer benefits for our combined customers, employees and other stakeholders across a diverse set of markets.”

Rishi Chandna, Managing Director at Golden Gate Capital, said, “Over the last four years, Neustar has meaningfully scaled its core portfolio of solutions, completed strategic investments in its growth platforms and technology, and enhanced its winning culture. We are proud to have partnered with management and the talented Neustar team to execute this successful transformation into a leading provider of identity-driven solutions which leading brands rely on every day to connect with their prospects and customers. We have great respect for TransUnion and are confident they are the right partner for Neustar in its next chapter.”

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RealNetworks extends mask detection to plug-and-play kiosk

RealNetworks has recently introduced a new biometric solution featuring mask detection capabilities. MaskCheck Kiosk is designed to automatically monitor and encourage mask usage as companies slowly transition back to office-based work.

MaskCheck Kiosks can reportedly be installed in five minutes. Its hardware includes a pre-configured iPad 8, an external battery with a power display and a stand.

“After launching our free MaskCheck app […] we had many requests for a strong, reliable, and durable integrated MaskCheck solution. MaskCheck Kiosk is that solution,” explained RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser.

The biometric MaskCheck app can run on both Android and iOS devices (though the new kiosks are only supporting iPads at the moment) and offers a series of features.

Beyond the mask compliance capabilities, MaskCheck is also a service and data platform designed to help communities and businesses operate more safely.

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Telefonica taps NEC for open RAN push

Telefonica struck a deal with NEC to conduct open RAN trials in the operator’s four core global markets, a step towards achieving a goal for half of its 5G deployments to use the approach by 2025.

In a joint statement, the pair explained Telefonica will conduct open RAN pilots in Spain, Germany, the UK and Brazil with the goal of delivering commercial options to at least 800 sites across the four markets starting in 2022.

Telefonica CTIO Enrique Blanco described open networks as key to driving network evolution in the 5G era and to “fulfilling our mission of consistently delivering superior experiences to our consumer and enterprise customers”.

SVP of NEC Shigeru Okuya added Telefonica’s open RAN initiative was “game-changing”, promising long-term “tremendous value” and innovation.

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