Gemplus(R) (NASDAQ:GEMP), the leading smart card solutions provider, has announced today - in concert with Nextel(R) Communications, Inc.'s (NASDAQ: NXTL) announcement of the i85 phone by Motorola(R)- that it has been chosen by Nextel as the provider of SIM cards for the Motorola wireless phone. These SIM cards are the first in the world to be manufactured to a specification other than the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM). That means North American users of non-GSM phones can enjoy the same advanced features and high security that wireless customers in Europe and Asia have come to expect.
Gemplus is manufacturing the SIM cards for Nextel to iDEN(R) standard specifications. This Motorola technology supports voice, data, short messages and other features in one phone. It operates in the 800 MHz and 1.5 GHz bands and is based on TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access).
A key benefit of the Gemplus SIM card for Nextel and its customers is enhanced security, with a strongly encrypted "handshake" between the user and the network that provides a highly dependable means of user identification. SIM cards create the freedom for users to roam internationally without losing their personal set-ups and to change wireless terminals as they wish, without calling customer care. SIM cards also open the door to application security for mobile commerce and wireless Intranet.
The integration with Motorola was the first of its kind: successful integration of a SIM card in a mass-market non-GSM phone.
"This is a groundbreaking development for North American wireless networks," said Jean-Louis Carrara, Director of Telecommunications for Gemplus in North America. "The use of SIM cards in the Nextel network is a tremendous endorsement of smart card technologies, demonstrating the intrinsic value of SIM cards in all networks, for all wireless technologies."
Gemplus has been manufacturing the cards for wireless phones since 1992 and has issued 41% of SIM Card units sold in 1999 (source Eurosmart/Gemplus 2000), the largest of any single manufacturer. Gemplus has been providing more than 250 wireless operators with SIM cards, software, and services since 1988. The company's other innovations in the mobile phone market include products and technologies such as the development environment GemXplore(R) CASE, the remote SIM management platform GemXplore Suite, and Java Card(TM) SIMs.
"As the world's largest producer of SIM cards for cellular phones, Gemplus has both the technical and manufacturing expertise necessary to ensure that high quality SIMs will be readily available to meet the demand expected for the i85 phone," said Greg Santoro, Vice President Internet and Wireless Services at Nextel. "The security and dependability their smart cards provide is unrivalled in the industry."
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