Mobile Services in Japan begin OpenID experiment


22 companies including NTT docomo, KDDI, Sony, NEC, etc. have formed “ID Platform Federation Forum”. With JPY12 billion (approx. US$1.3M) in funding from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, the forum members will initiate the experiment, based largely on OpenID, by the end of the year. The forum itself is operated by Nomura Research Institute (NRI).

Mobile content and commerce has flourished in Japan after the deployment of mobile browser communication for the mobile phones in Japan. As of 2008, it amounts to JPY1,352,400,000,000 (approx. US$15M) and showing 17% growth even under stagnant market conditions [1]. It has become so important that it is often said that a service will not be viable without mobile web support.

One of the key factors of its success has been attributed to the ability to identify the user reliably in the mobile carrier network. This characteristic combined with the micropayments provided by the mobile carriers enable a zero-hassle login and payment user experience. However, these features have only been available via mobile browser and not on the PC and other internet-connected devices. The forum aims to expand the success of the identification and payment service capability from the mobile arena into the wider internet, using OpenID as the underlying technology. The forum will provide insights on the implementation and recommendations obtained from the experiment back to the international community through bodies such as the OpenID Foundation. Currently, the forum expects the feedback to impact the Mobile Profile of OpenID, the Attribute schema, and Level of Protection of the Relying Parties.

Chairman
Prof. Aida, Tokyo University

Vice-chair
Prof. Morikawa, Tokyo University

Secretariat
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.

Members
Access Co. Ltd.
KDDI Corporation
Nextwave Co. Ltd.
NEC Corporation
Nihon Unisys Ltd.
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.
NTT Comunications
NTT docomo Inc.
Fujitsu
Hitachi Ltd.
Softbank BB Corp.
Sony Corporation
Willcom Inc.

in addition, there are observers.

[1] Source: Ministry of Internal Affaires and Communication (http://www.soumu.go.jp/menu_news/s-news/02ryutsu04_000016.html)

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