AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands–Dec. 19, 2005–Axalto (EURONEXT:AXL)(EURONEXT:NL0000400653), the world´s leader in microprocessor cards, today announced that Inmarsat, the worldwide leader of global mobile satellite communications, has awarded the company an exclusive 3-year contract for the supply of USIM cards (the SIM card for third generation) to enable secure access to their Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service. Axalto´s high-end cards will be used in BGAN terminals, which can be connected quickly and easily to a laptop to provide communication services where access to the usual telephone network is difficult or impossible. The contract stipulates participation agreements with Inmarsat´s distribution partners around the world.
Inmarsat´s BGAN is the world´s first mobile communications service of any kind to provide both voice and broadband data simultaneously through a single, portable device, anywhere on the planet. Users who want dependable, secure, broadband access when traveling in locations with unreliable or no telecommunications network, will now be able to access the Internet – they can even make a telephone call at the same time. The service is accessed via small, lightweight satellite terminals – about the size of a laptop PC – and will be available from selected distribution partners and service providers, such as mobile operators.
Axalto has worked in close cooperation with Inmarsat to develop a specific profile for the USIM cards to be used in BGAN terminals. These cards are a key enabler to highly secure BGAN services, such as extensions of company local area networks, telemedicine, entertainment such as web TV, live news broadcast through broadband Internet access and multi-user connectivity. Axalto was able to meet the specific requirements of Inmarsat and its distribution partners regarding authentication to the BGAN network as well as the security of the communication link.
“Axalto contributed its extensive experience in the field of 3G technology to support us in developing and fine-tuning the specifications for the card,” said David Kingdon Jones, Inmarsat´s BGAN commercial director. “Moreover, the local team brought constant support during the testing phase, which contributed to the success of our BGAN commercial launch.”
“We are proud to support Inmarsat in this venture, which will enable users to access simultaneously the Internet and telephony services anywhere on earth,” added Anthony Ball, vice-president western Europe, mobile communications, at Axalto. “In mobile communications, Axalto´s traditional customers are usually terrestrial mobile operators and therefore, working with Inmarsat and its distribution partners was a challenging as well as a very enriching experience.”
Axalto (EURONEXT:AXL)(EURONEXT:NL0000400653) is the world´s leading provider of microprocessor cards (Gartner 2005, Frost & Sullivan 2004) — the key to digital networks — and a major supplier of point-of-sale terminals. Its 4500 employees come from over 65 nationalities and serve customers in more than 100 countries, with worldwide sales exceeding 3 billion smart cards to date. The company has 25 years´ experience in smart card innovation and leads its industry in security technology and open systems.