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New Year always finds us in the final stages of planning Trustonic’s annual pilgrimage to GSMA’s MWC in Barcelona. Mobile World Congress, as it used to be known pre-acronym, is the world’s largest conference and exhibition for the mobile industry. This year it runs from the 24th to 27th February and the Trustonic team will once again be spending the week meeting customers, partners, media and analysts on our stand in Hall 6 Stand 6J41.

Mobile World Congress 2020

The theme for MWC 2020 is “Limitless Intelligent Connectivity”, with the conference agenda addressing the biggest topics moving the industry. With the rollout of 5G, we’re entering an era where AI, Big Data, and IoT all converge, ushering in a technological revolution where everyone can be connected to everything. The possibilities are as exciting as they are endless.

Some of the key topics that’ll be covered at MWC include:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI). The GSMA estimates that, by the year 2025, there will be 25 Billion IoT devices generating over 44 Zettabytes of data, most of which will be unstructured. The data collected by the IoT has vast potential and MWC will highlight some of the companies using different types of AI, such as Machine Learning, Machine Vision and Deep learning, to unleash this potential to create, what is coming to be termed as “the Internet of Experiences”.
  • Connectivity: The 5G Era. This will explore the global connectivity opportunities offered by next-generation networks, and the business and cultural impact that this is likely to have. As Craig Wigginton, Global Telecommunications Leader, Deloitte puts it “The future of connectivity offers breathtaking possibilities. Digital transformation will yield previously unimaginable growth opportunities. Interconnected business ecosystems will span multiple market segments. Technologies will combine to transform the way we live and work.”
  • Customer Engagement. The advent of the internet and smartphones has transformed communication channels between consumers and companies in recent years. MWC will feature examples across all industries to show how companies are setting the benchmark for customer engagement, retaining and gaining customers and growing revenue.
  • Industry X. The blend of new technologies, such as industrial IoT, big data, analytics, AI, robotics, 3D printing and machine learning, provides opportunity for new revenue and engagement models. The Industry X topic will look at the challenges, opportunities, scalability and limitless potential of Industrial IoT and Digital Transformation
  • Media & Entertainment. This agenda stream will explore the challenges faced by these intertwined industries as they embrace the opportunities afforded by AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality). As consumers’ appetites and expectations grow for rich, immersive content, this impacts networks and event venues, presenting huge challenges for everyone involved in these industries.
  • Our Planet. This will discuss the connected technology industries’ responsibilities to the environment and to creating a clean and sustainable future. It will also look at how these industries can help the underserved in our communities, including the unconnected. It will also explore accessibility for the disabled, among others.
  • Security & Privacy. Trust in the digital ecosystem has been eroded by recent scandals, and there has been much debate around privacy and the ethics of data usage as we enter the AI era. MWC’s Security & Privacy topic will look at the challenges in creating the right balance between the needs of consumers, governments, regulators and industries.

You’ll find us in Hall 6, Stand 6J41 demonstrating how we can help Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), app developers, hardware designers, device OEMs & chip manufacturers protect devices and critical applications.

Of particular interest to MNOs and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)s is our Asset Lifecycle Protection Service (ALPS) which we launched globally last year at MWC 2019. Using ALPS, MNOs and MVNOs can minimize theft, fraud, trafficking, and exploitation at every stage of a device’s lifecycle and grow subscribers by enabling operators to offer devices and contracts to new categories of consumers.

Showcasing Our Revenue Protection Solution for the Mobile Ecosystem

ALPS is integrated into OEM manufacturing processes, securing a device at its very core, so protection is in place from the moment it is built and is operational throughout its lifecycle. ALPS provides the ability to:

Remotely unlock (and lock) devices

Manually unlocking a device after purchase can be a cumbersome, tedious, confusing and error-prone process for both the customer and the retailer. Often the user experience is poor and, for retailers and operators, the cost of care is high as it can take up to 2 hours to unlock a device on a network.

However, with ALPS, providers can unlock devices remotely and securely. Using Trustonic’s embedded technology, devices can be locked at the point of manufacture and remotely unlocked only when they’re legitimately sold. Unlocking can be done quickly and automatically, without any customer interaction and, if necessary, the device can be remotely locked again later in its lifecycle.

Secure the supply chain

Devices are stolen at every point of the supply chain, whether in transit from the manufacturer to the warehouse to the retailer, or from retail stores, often by “insiders”. Manual unlock codes are easily circumvented, allowing stolen devices to be sold and reused. And, because of the high value of devices, sophisticated, organised crime is behind some of the larger-scale theft. The cost to the industry is considerable, with OEMs, MNOs and retailers all bearing the impact.

ALPS secures the supply chain at every point by enabling OEMs to lock their devices before they leave the factory, and unlock them only when they’re sold and activated in-store. A locked device is worthless to criminals as it can be unlocked only using a secure process defined by the MNO; it cannot be unlocked by illegitimate means. This removes the incentive to steal devices since a locked device cannot be used on another network, even if it’s shipped to a country that does not subscribe to the GSMA’s blacklist.

Enforce financing and leasing terms

The credit rejection rates associated with device financing are high; in some cases, as much as 80%. This is an issue, regardless of whether a device is sold through a subsidy or lease plan because, if a customer defaults on their payments or abuses the terms of their plan, the provider bears the cost. For example, if a customer buys a device, turns on WIFI-only and never uses the network, the provider cannot recoup their subsidy.

ALPS provides MNOs with the ability to lock a device for non-payment or for infringing the terms of a contract. Because the device acts as a physical asset, this provides MNOs with the opportunity to alter their financing parameters and expand their customer base to engage with customers that they may not have before, resulting in potentially higher revenue.

Regulate companion device terms

The ability to enforce the terms of a contract enables MNOs to offer new types of plans; for example, with “share everything” plans, multiple devices and lines can be purchased together, with data, minutes, and SMS all shared across them. However, should the subscriber default on payments, the MNO can remotely lock all the devices associated with the plan since all are subsidised and subject to the same terms. Similarly, third parties offering devices as incentives can enforce the terms of their contracts.

Prevent warranty and insurance fraud

Warranty fraud occurs when a company’s defective product replacement policy is exploited. For example, a customer purchases a device online then claims it is defective and demands a replacement under warranty. However, on receiving the replacement, the customer fails to return the original device (which may, of course, not be defective). For this reason, many MNOs and retailers are reluctant to offer “forward replacement” where customers are never left without a device, insisting instead that a device is returned before a new one can be issued.

With ALPS, customers can be supplied with a locked replacement device, which cannot be used until a SIM is inserted. This triggers the remote unlocking of the new device, while simultaneously locking the original device, meaning that only one device is ever unlocked at a time. This protects the asset and ensures customers follow the prescribed replacement process.

This solution can also be used by third-party companies who handle warranty replacements on behalf of MNOs, providing them with the ability to lock these devices.

Enforce device recall

Occasionally, devices need to be recalled by the manufacturer, but this can be difficult to enforce. This can be especially problematic when a regulatory body legislates that a device it considers unsafe must stop being used, when there is no way of enforcing this.

ALPS provides OEMs with the technical ability to enforce a recall policy by remotely locking a device, thus rendering it unusable. ALPS can also be used to inform customers about a recall; for example, by displaying information on the device together with a customer care contact number.

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ALPS is trusted by some of the largest operators and has been implemented on tens of millions of devices. It’s also why ALPS was named Telecoms Fraud Prevention winner at Cyber Defense Global Awards 2019. For more information about our Asset Lifecycle Protection Service (ALPS) visit our solution page.

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