MODRNA Working Group - Overview

The MODRNA working group is developing a profile of OpenID Connect designed for use by mobile network operators (MNOs) providing identity services to relying parties (RPs) and for RPs in consuming these services in an interoperable manner.

MODRNA Working Group

MODRNA Working Group

MODRNA Working Group

What is MODRNA Working Group?

MODRNA (pronounced modernah) stands for Mobile Operator Discovery, Registration & autheNticAtion. The MODRNA WG will develop a profile of OpenID Connect intended to be appropriate for use by mobile network operators (MNOs) providing identity services to RPs and for RPs in consuming those services as well as any other party wishing to be interoperable with this profile. Moreover, the WG will develop extensions to OpenID Connect as needed in the context of GSMA’s Mobile Connect initiative, such as server-initiated authentication, transaction authorization, and account migration to support the requirement from MNOs. Additionally, it will identify and make recommendations for additional standards items.

With the increasing usage of the mobile device to manage various transactions, the Mobile Network Operator (MNO) play a crucial role in the identity ecosystem and partner to leveraging their specific technical capabilities. The MODRNA WG aims to create a profile of OpenID Connect tailored to the specific needs of mobile networks and devices thus enabling usage of operator ID services in an interoperable way.

To start with, OpenID Connect basically relies on the e-mail address to determine a user’s OpenID provider (OP). In the context of mobile identity, the mobile phone number or other suitable mobile network data are considered more appropriate. The working group propose extensions to the OpenID discovery function to use this data to determine the operator’s OP, taking also into consideration protection of this data’s privacy (esp. mobile phone number).

Reaching all mobile users in a certain market requires a RP to connect to all of its user’s MNOs. The working group will develop mechanisms so a RP can get approved for identity service once and connect at runtime to any relevant MNO without have to manually register at each one.

As service providers may have different requirements regarding a certain authentication transaction, the MODRNA profiles will also define a set of authentication policies operator OP’s are recommended to implement and service providers can choose from.

The working group was setup in cooperation with the GSMA in order to support GSMA’s Mobile Connect and its evolution to further this work.

As the adoption of OpenID Connect continues to evolve, the working group is working with GSMA on initiative like RCS and Automotive Identity (AiD), with the evolution of C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything), as well other standards development organizations such as 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project), to further the usage of of OpenID Connect in the wireless communication industry, such as the user authentication requirements with Mission Critical Services and similar vertical applications, along with the evolution to 5G IAM.

Current Status

For an overview of the working group status, the below OpenID Foundation MODRNA WG update was presented at the OpenID Foundation Workshop on April 17, 2023.

Working Group Chairs

  • Bjorn Hjelm
  • John Bradley (Yubico)


To monitor progress and connect with working group members, join the mailing list.

To participate in or contribute to a specification within the working group requires the submission of an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) contribution agreement.  You can complete this electronically or by paper at
Be sure to specify, in the working groups box, the exact name:

Meeting Schedule

  • When: Tuesday 2pm UTC (7am PDT, 4pm CEST) – biweekly
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  • Access Code: 927-253-461
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Papers and Presentations