Gemplus Wins Landmark Contract for Sultanate of Oman National Identification Program
Awarded with contract to supply a comprehensive national identity solution including the issuance of over 1.2 million smart ID cards
Part of Sultanate of Oman strategy to improve quality of public service and homeland security infrastructure
First nationwide smart card-based citizen identity solution to be deployed in the Middle East
LUXEMBOURG, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/–Gemplus International SA (Nasdaq: GEMP) (Paris Euronext: Euroclear 5768), the world’s leading provider of smart card-enabled solutions, today announces that it has been awarded a contract to deliver a comprehensive national identification (ID) solution to the Sultanate of Oman.
This is the first smart card-based identity solution ever implemented in the Middle East. The Sultanate’s smart citizen identity card is intended for launch by end 2003, after all necessary integration and infrastructure developments are made. The contract appoints Gemplus to provide consultancy, project management and integration, as well as services, software and cards.
The Sultanate of Oman wishes to provide better, faster and more accurate public services for its citizens together with higher levels of security, including biometrics. The Sultanate has invested in a modern system that utilizes open Java Card™ technology, in order to deliver a versatile ID solution that can easily accommodate future e-Government applications. Whilst a number of smart card-based ID programs are being undertaken around the world, the Sultanate of Oman is pursuing this global trend, paving the way amongst leading technology countries.
Over 1.2 million smart cards will be deployed, initially enabling personal digital identification. Oman’s citizens and residents will be able to securely and conveniently store their personal credentials on the cards, including name, address, digital photo ID and fingerprints. It is planned to extend the smart card usage to host the individual’s driver’s license and border control applications, with other applications, including emergency medical data, being added over time. The ID cards combined with biometric recognition will be able to be checked both by portable terminals and by automatic electronic validation, for example at airport immigration checkpoints.
In addition to acquiring technology, the Sultanate of Oman is aiming to develop new technical competencies within the Royal Oman Police force, which is the local authority managing the ID program. Gemplus will deliver this through extensive IT training and skills transfer programs.
His Excellency, Hilal Bin Khalid Al Ma’uwaly, Inspector General, Royal Oman Police force, said: “The NRS/smart card initiative illustrates the capability of different government organizations in integrating the services rendered to the public.”
Dr. Soulaiman Al-Harthy, Directorate General, Royal Oman Police force, said: “We are eager to launch the NRS/smart card solution, which took our dedicated project office years of careful thinking and planning. We learnt from the experience of other nations and adopted a state of the art solution, which is open, flexible and capable of standing the test of time. Gemplus was selected as the final vendor, due to their expertise and professionalism. They were selected according to very careful and stringent criteria. We are looking forward to work with Gemplus as partners and are keen to transfer the required skills for business continuity to our staff.”
Gilles Michel, President Gemplus Financial and Security Services, said: “We are delighted to have gained this important contract. The Sultanate of Oman recognises that smart card technology provides the ideal means to manage personal credentials and to provide a secure, reliable and flexible platform for public services and security. Through this program, the Sultanate is taking a leading position in introducing the benefits of smart cards at a national level. The contract also reinforces Gemplus’ position in this important new growth market.”
Alex Mandl, Chief Executive Officer of Gemplus, said: “ID programs are a key element of Gemplus’ future strategy. Smart cards provide a simple, durable and highly cost effective means of enabling and controlling secure access and identification. Increasingly, they are a fundamental tool for governments and organisations of all kinds, both to improve service and to reinforce personal and national security. The Sultanate of Oman is leading the way in putting these principles into practice.”
GEMPLUS: the world’s leading provider of smart card solutions. Gemplus helps its clients offer an exceptional range of portable, personalized solutions that bring security and convenience to people’s lives. These include mobile Internet access, inter-operable banking facilities, e-commerce and a wealth of other applications.
Gemplus is the only completely dedicated, truly global player in the Smart Card industry, with the largest R&D team, unrivalled experience, and an outstanding track record of technological innovation.
In 2001, Gemplus was the worldwide smart card leader in both revenues and total smart card shipments (source: Gartner-Dataquest and Frost & Sullivan). Gemplus was also awarded Frost & Sullivan’s 2002 Market Value Award for its exceptional performance.
Gemplus trades its shares on Euronext Paris S.A. First Market and on the NASDAQ Stock Market as GEMP in the form of ADSs. Its revenue in 2001 was 1 billion Euros.
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