Virgin Take on Mobile Market With World's Most Powerful Communications Platform

Virgin has become the fifth player in the UK cellular market with the announcement that the company is to launch the country’s most powerful range of mobile phones.

Working in partnership with Gemplus, the world’s leading smart card solutions provider, the new Virgin Mobile service is the result of an intensive yearlong consultancy process incorporating five man-years of research and development. The result is the new Virgin Mobile Advanced Wireless Technology Platform, a communications infrastructure that pulls together multiple applications into one killer technology platform. Interacting with a software rich SIM card, more powerful than any other in the UK, the new infrastructure can offer the widest range of Value Added Services, plus over-the-phone e-mail, and internet browsing ability.

Marc Lassus, President of Gemplus, said: "The partnership that we have developed with Virgin over the past year is based on our ability to interpret and realise the company’s ambitions for the communications marketplace. Virgin’s skill is to understand and best interpret the needs of its customers, ours is to understand mobile telecoms. Our worldview of the mobile telephony marketplace together with our reputation for innovative SIM card technology meant that we could deliver the applications Virgin needed to make their service distinct in the mobile marketplace. Together we have been able to construct a new kind of mobile service in breathtaking time."

Virgin mobile and Gemplus are already working on phase two of the project - an internet programme which combines the power of a super smartcard and the Virgin Mobile Advanced Wireless Technology platform, making it the only cellular network in the world to offer internet browsing to all its customers.

This ground-breaking technology will mean that browsing the Internet will not be based on a particular handset but on the power of the software and the smartcard in the phone, and the Virgin Mobile Advanced Wireless Technology Platform. For example, customers will be able to go to and read the travel information on their handset screens.

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