Ericsson and Sonera SmartTrust unveil first digital signature for secure wireless e-commerce using WAP phones

Ericsson and Sonera SmartTrust, the leading provider of Public Key Infrastructure based security solutions for mobile commerce, today announced the first digital signature for secure wireless e-commerce using WAP phones.

The breakthrough solution is being demonstrated for the first time at Telecom 99 on Ericsson's latest phone model, the R320. With Ericsson's R320 and the SmartTrust technology, mobile operators and service providers all around the world are able to offer their customers secure, high performance transaction based services in the user-friendly WAP environment.

Ericsson's R320 is the world's first WAP phone that has been qualified with the value-added functionality of secure communications provided by digital signatures.

Security issues have been considered to be one of the main obstacles to the successful deployment of wireless e-commerce services. Ericsson and SmartTrust's successful teamwork on the digital signature solution opens the way for rapid growth of global wireless e-commerce.

The software for the digital signature solution, designed by Ericsson and Sonera SmartTrust, is based on current WAP specifications and GSM standards. It enables mobile operators and service providers around the world to offer new, secure, transaction-based services in highly attractive, user-friendly WAP environments.

Sonera SmartTrust has developed leading-edge wireless security solutions based on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), digital signatures and 1024 bit RSA data encryption. Ericsson has created an intelligent WAP device, that together with these features allows operators and service providers to provide secure, anywhere, anytime-financial services. Together, the two provide a complete solution that enables secure communication between customers and service providers using advanced mobile devices.

"A transparent, secure technology, combined with the graphical interface of a WAP device, open the door for us and for service providers to the future in wireless e-commerce," says Harri Vatanen, Senior Vice President of Sonera and head of SmartTrust. "Our objective is to provide potential partners and customers with complete solutions enabling secure communications between advanced mobile devices, customers and service providers. WAP will be a critical operational environment for our solutions and applications."

"Ericsson is exploiting the full market potential of wireless e-commerce, and with this solution, we demonstrate new business opportunities for operators, content providers, and the banking and finance industry to generate increased revenues," says Christian Testman, Director Wireless e-Solutions, Ericsson GSM Systems. "For mobile users, this means that wireless banking, ticketing, trading, gaming, and a range of other Internet services now can be transacted securely."

Analysts predict explosive growth for the mobile device market in the next few years, with most predicting one billion mobile phones in use within the next three four years. According to Gartner Group, mobile phones are expected to be the most common client device worldwide by 2005. In July, Ovum reported that smart phones and data-centric terminals will account for as much as two thirds of the estimated USD 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.

Ericsson supports the recently announced Radicchio initiative, which has been formed to drive global standardization of PKI for secure e-commerce. More information on Radicchio can be found at Ericsson is the leading provider in the new telecoms world, with communications solutions that combine telecom and datacom technologies with freedom of mobility for the user. With more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries, Ericsson simplifies communications for its customers - network operators, service providers, enterprises and consumers - the world over.

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