Single sign-on standards group the Liberty Alliance is to take over the work of Vodafone, Orange and Ericsson supported mobile computing standards group Radicchio.
The Liberty Alliance will then unveil a programme to certify products and services that comply with its federated network identity standards.
The Liberty Alliance is a consortium devoted to creating open standards for managing user identity information online. The group has more than 160 members, including leading corporations, non-profit groups and governments.
Radicchio is a UK-based cross industry group that was created in 1999 to foster a secure platform for conducting transactions using mobile devices such as mobile phones and PDAs.
It developed a platform called the "Trusted Transaction Roaming platform", or t2r, for authenticating mobile device users across different mobile networks.
Under an agreement, t2r will be transferred to the Liberty Alliance along with any other specifications and assets belonging to Radicchio.
Once the transfer is complete, Radicchio will discontinue operations, according to James van der Beek, senior manager of strategy at Vodafone Group.
The decision to fold Radicchio grew out of the realisation that the challenge of mobile commerce was converging with that of verifying user identity, Van der Beek said.
"Identity impacts everything and the Liberty Alliance is the place to handle identity," he said.
The merger also fits with the Liberty Alliance's focus on a new generation of identity services, according to Simon Nicholson, chairman of the business and marketing expert group at the Liberty Alliance and a manager of strategic initiatives at Sun Microsystems.
Inheriting the t2r platform will give the Liberty Alliance a head start developing standards for mobile payment and wallet services, Nicholson said.
"It's a logical next step for the Liberty Alliance to solve those future problems," he said.
The Liberty Alliance is also launching a certification programe to make sure single sign-on software products and services adhere to the group's published guidelines and interoperate with other Liberty products.
The group will issue Liberty Alliance logos to products and services that meet its interoperability standards.
Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service