Gemplus and Sonera SmartTrust Launch a Public Key SIM Card to Secure Transactions Over the Wireless Media

    Gemplus the world's leading provider of smart card based solutions and Sonera SmartTrust, the leading provider of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) based security solutions for wireless e-commerce, today announced that they will enter the market with a GSM Subscriber Identity Module (SIM card), featuring digital signature and Public Key encryption. This is enabled by Sonera SmartTrust technology embedded in the Gemplus SIM card. The card will open the wireless world for service providers and speed up the growth of wireless e-commerce. The solution will be commercially available during the first half of 2000.

    Services using Sonera SmartTrust's secure digital signature and encryption technology will create acceptance for using wireless devices for serious business transactions such as banking and buying and selling stocks. Mobile operators using this technology with advanced SIM cards will be able to offer their customers a whole new set of secure wireless e-commerce solutions. The early adopters will be banks, other financial institutions and stock brokerage.

    "Sonera SmartTrust technology enables the use of tamper-proof digital signatures and 1024 bit data encryption, which is vital for doing business in the wireless environment. Combined with Gemplus' impressive track record and expertise in the field, we are bound to see a significant growth of wireless e-commerce. Sonera SmartTrust's objective is to provide potential partners and customers with a complete standard-based solution that enables secure commerce and communication not just between mobile devices and service providers but also on other wireless and Internet platforms", said Harri Vatanen CEO and president of Sonera SmartTrust. "With its strong presence in the global marketplace Gemplus is an ideal partner for Sonera to boost the growth of secure wireless e-commerce".

    "Following its success in wireless applications from basic authentication devices to platforms, smart cards are now working towards e-commerce solutions in a wireless environment. Our Public Key enabled SIM will make secure e-commerce transactions over wireless networks a reality with new technology provided by Sonera SmartTrust. It is with great pleasure that Gemplus is joining Sonera SmartTrust to bring e-commerce to the wireless world" said Philippe Martineau, vp of the Next Generation Networks Group at Gemplus.

    Analysts predict explosive growth for the mobile device market in the next few years, with most predicting 1 billion mobile phones in use within the next three to four years. According to Gartner Group, mobile phones are expected to be the most common client device world wide by 2005. In July, Ovum Research reported that smart phones and data-centric terminals will account for as much as two thirds of the estimated $67 billion handset market in 2004. These devices, merging voice and data capabilities in an accessible and easy-to-use handset, provide the ideal platform for delivering high-value wireless services for mass consumer use.

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