Veon launches digital ID authentication to rival Big Tech


FILE PHOTO: A man uses his mobile phone while walking past a board showing currency exchange rates of the U.S. dollar, euro and British pound (top-bottom) against Russian rouble in Moscow, Russia, August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Telecoms operator VEON on Tuesday launched a digital ID authentication system that Chief Executive Kaan Terzioglu said could rival those used by U.S. technology giants in simplifying mobile logins without sacrificing privacy.

The new tool allows users to log into systems like retail or banking websites using their phone numbers and one-time password authentication, rather than using separate passwords, or those attached to existing domains like Google or Facebook.

Veon wants to roll out the system to its 212 million customers in nine countries following a nine-month trial with over 1.2 million monthly active users in its main market, Russia, he said.

Terzioglu told Reuters Veon's system was a simpler alternative to those offered by the likes of Alphabet's Google and Facebook.

"We had this unique opportunity to simplify all these interactions by allowing people just to use their telephone numbers and we tokenise the credentials including certain personal information which it is not necessarily desirable to share with everyone," Terzioglu said in an interview.

Foreign tech companies have come under increasing pressure from the Russian government over the content shared on their platforms, along with demands they set up offices on Russian soil.

TOWER STRATEGY

Veon also unveiled a new strategy focused on digital assets, double-digit local currency revenue growth and the divestiture of its tower assets, which Terzioglu expects it to complete in the next two years as part of plans to lower debt.

Faced with straitened revenue growth and stubbornly high debt built up during the last network upgrade, telecoms companies across Europe are looking to raise cash by selling their tower portfolios, or creating future income streams through spinning off those assets.

The company, which has more than 50,000 towers, last week signed a deal to sell its tower assets in Russia for about $1 billion.

"I would like to see more of these deals... in the next quarters and by 2022, 2023 we will hopefully complete the entire series," Terzioglu said.

"It's been about nine months (since) we pushed the button on our physical assets monetisation strategy," he said.

The company is also in talks with independent tower operators in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Veon's consolidated debt was $7.7 billion as of Sept. 30 and tower sales can bring in several billion.

The company's shares were up 3.4% as of 1345 GMT.

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow in Moscow and Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm; Editing by Jan Harvey)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

   

Next In Tech News

Tesla removed from S&P 500 ESG index on autopilot, discrimination concerns
India to press ahead with strict cybersecurity rules despite industry concerns
Google's Russian subsidiary to file for bankruptcy after bank account seized
Musk wars with Twitter over his buyout deal – on Twitter
Analysis-Elon Musk can't easily give Twitter the boot over bots
Saudi Arabia's wealth fund takes 5% Nintendo stake
Microsoft seeks to dodge EU cloud computing probe with changes
Analysis-Zombie unicorns: Indian startups go from feast to famine
Want to delete embarrassing old messages on social networks and messengers? Here’s how
Azmin Ali: Amazon Web Services expected to make major investment in Malaysia to develop data centres

Others Also Read