Oberthur Announces The World's First UMTS USIM Card

SIMphonIC 3G -- The Key To 3rd Generation Mobile Communications

Oberthur Card Systems, a global leader and innovator in the smart card industry, today announced the forthcoming launch of its USIM (Universal SIM) card product, SIMphonIC 3G.

SIMphonIC 3G is the first Java(TM) based multi-standard, multi-application card, which embraces all the 3rd generation technology standards as determined by the ITU(a), under the UMTS/IMT-2000 banner.

Traditionally, SIM cards enable access to a single network; the SIMphonIC 3G will offer true global roaming and multiple network access around the World as well as enabling multi-standard inter-operability.

With 3rd generation networks going live as early as 2001 in Japan and Spain, the world of wireless multi-media and Internet connection at speeds of up to 400kb per second (equivalent to those of ADSL(b) today) is fast approaching. Providing secure access to any variation of voice, text, data and video, the SIMphonIC 3G enables the user to e-mail, shop, bank, play games and download music and video to any wireless terminal: mobile phone, camera, PDA, music players or even game consoles.

SIMphonIC 3G also enables backwards compatibility with current GSM technologies ensuring operators a smooth migration path to 3G.

Stephane Mousse, Head of Marketing for Mobile Communications at Oberthur Card Systems said, "SIMphonIC 3G, the first ever Java USIM card, has been designed to help operators launch innovative multimedia services based on a real business case with secure access to and payment of content on many new devices."

Mousse added, "an aggressive rollout of SIMphonIC 3G is essential -- operators need to move quickly with their 3G offers in order to gain a fast return on the investment made in 3G licensing."

To meet the needs of the world's first UMTS network operators, Oberthur has opened an office in Japan to offer local support and development.

Any type of application can be developed for the card. With its large 64K capacity, the multi-application capability of Oberthur's SIMphonIC 3G card allows the housing of telecommunication and non-telecommunication applications alongside the USAT (Universal SIM Application Toolkit).

These applications can run simultaneously. For example, an EMV debit/credit function and an e-purse application could be included which would allow the online `topping-up' through a 3G network of the e-purse directly from the user's bank account -- this one simple transaction runs three applications at the same time.

SIMphonIC 3G incorporates the ultimate in security features including RSA Cryptography(c) and Common Criteria EAL4+ evaluation, which is currently the only internationally recognized set of security features.

Since Oberthur Card Systems first introduced Java onto the SIM card with the launch of its award-winning SIMphonIC card, Java has been adopted as the industry-wide standard for mobile telephony and Internet technology. A "Java chain" is beginning to emerge as many operators, banks and other card service providers now use Java to develop their applications.

This chain allows operators to customize and define a full solution from the content, the server and to the mobile handset using Java at every level. The smart card is the key for storing all security features and so ultimately provides the key for accessing all services.

The SIMphonIC 3G is the latest in a long list of `firsts' for Oberthur and confirms the company's open architecture vision. Having brought the WIM (WAP Identity Module) and the SWIM (combined SIM toolkit and WAP) card to the market first, Oberthur Card Systems takes the next step with the imminent launch of the USIM offer.

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