Orchestrating Next-Generation Mobile Phone Services

Orchestrating Next-Generation Mobile Phone Services

A cutting-edge SIM Card with enhanced capability unveiled by three industry leaders, TIM, Oberthur Card Systems and STMicroelectronics Third Generation mobile services get closer thanks to the 1Mega Chip

Rome, Geneva, Milan and Paris, November 20th, 2003–As the transition to third-generation (3G) wireless communications continues to gather momentum, the world’s most advanced mobile phone SIM card was today unveiled by three of the leading global suppliers of communications services, silicon chips and smart card technologies. The brand new 1MB SuperSIM card has been developed for TIM, the leading Italian mobile operator, by Oberthur Card Systems, one of the world’s leading providers of smart card based solutions, and STMicroelectronics, one of the world’s leading suppliers of silicon chip technology.

An essential component of all mobile phones, the SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card stores critical subscriber authentication information, and also optional private data such as personal phone directories and messages. In the emerging 3G world, where multimedia content such as MMS, audio or video downloads are widely used, memory capability is an issue that affects either the mobile phone, the mass storage element and most of all the security storage element. Further, because this secure data is stored in the SIM card rather than the mobile phone memory, it can be easily carried if the user moves to a new handset.

Today’s SIM cards were designed to store text-based data such as phone numbers or SMSs and do not have the memory capacity to store data such as MMS or photographic images that are increasingly demanded by mobile phone users. In the emerging 3G mobile communications world, SIM cards will need to offer far greater storage capacity and much faster communication between the SIM card and the mobile phone.

The new card, called SIMphonIC 3G MEGA, contains a state-of-the-art silicon chip, called ST22FJ1M, made by ST, which includes ST’s proprietary SmartJ™ Java-accelerated 32-bit processor and a huge megabyte of embedded Flash memory (enough to hold hundreds of JPG image files) and embedded Operating System (OS) software developed by Oberthur Card Systems.

“The new 1MB SuperSIM, enables us to add a variety of 3G multimedia proposals to the exciting services already offered by our InteracTIM engine. It represents the latest step of an evolution started some years ago that brought TIM to pass, in less than 30 months, from a 32K card to the newest SIM-Plus 128K recently launched in mid October up to this very first innovative product that will revolutionize the mobile telephone market. This unequalled success has been possible thanks to the strong partnership that TIM has always developed with its Card Manufacturers and Chip Makers and that, based on this innovative product, will soon bring other important innovations related to smart card technologies,” said Paolo Paganucci Smart Card Manager of TIM.

“The exceptional performances of the SmartJ™ processor combined with our state-of-the-art OS has allowed us to boost the communication speed between the card and the mobile phone to almost forty times faster than a normal 2G SIM card and four times faster than today’s best 3G SIM cards,” said Velipekka Kuoppala, 3G product manager, Oberthur Card Systems.

“The SmartJ™ chip, combined with the Oberthur SIMphonIC 3G MEGA Operating System will allow TIM’s subscribers to enjoy maximum portability of their mobile content and fully benefit from the new 3G features,” said Simone Cavallo, Group Vice-President, Smart Card Telecom Division General Manager, STMicroelectronics.

The communication between the SIM card and the mobile phone’s electronic circuit is effected via the ISO7816 protocol. However, within this global standard, chip manufacturers and smart card experts can join forces to develop solutions that offer the optimal trade-off between interoperability (any SIM card should work in any mobile phone) and performance. The enhanced performance of the new SIM card allows TIM customers to take advantage of the much greater memory capacities provided by ST and to benefit from the quicker multimedia management between the card and the most advanced mobile phone that is provided by Oberthur’s SIMphonIC platform.

The new SIM card developed by Oberthur Card Systems to TIM in partnership with ST is compatible with both the new 3G networks (UMTS/W-CDMA) and current GSM networks in order to ease migration and enable services such as info-on-demand, mobile banking and access to a wide range of services.

About Oberthur Card Systems

With sales of 440.2 million euros in 2002, Oberthur Card Systems is one of the world’s leading providers of card-based solutions, software and applications including SIM and multi-application smart cards and services ranging from consulting to personalization. Innovative products, security expertise and high quality services ensure Oberthur’s strong positioning in its three main target markets.

  • Payment: 54% of 2002 revenues. The company is the world leader and number one supplier for Visa and MasterCard payment cards.
  • Mobile Communications: 29% of 2002 revenues, with open and interoperable solutions based on Java™ technology.
  • Identity & Security: emerging markets in which the company plays a pioneering role, with strong expertise in security and a dominant position in e-commerce and Pay-TV.

Close to its customers, Oberthur Card Systems benefits from an industrial and commercial presence across all five continents. Listed on the Euronext Stock Exchange (ISIN : FR0000124133) since July 2000, Oberthur Card Systems is a subsidiary of the François-Charles Oberthur Group. For more information, visit http://www.oberthurcs.com

About TIM

TIM (Telecom Italia Group) is the leading European operator in terms of the number of GSM lines on a single network and leader in the domestic market with 26.1 million lines as of September 30, 2003. The TIM Group with its associate companies in Europe, South America and in the Mediterranean basin has reached an overall number of 43.2 million lines.

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivaled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2002, the Company’s net revenues were $6.32 billion and net earnings were $429.4 million. Further information on ST can be found at http://www.st.com.

Oberthur Card Systems
Investor / Press Contact:
Wais Wasiri
Tel: + 33 6 10 63 01 60
Mail: w.wasiri@oberthurcs.com

Marta Mauri
Tel: +33 6 60 53 75 61
Mail: m.mauri@oberthurcs.com

Oberthur Card Systems Italy
Gloria Pollastri
Tel: +39 02 38 217 357
Mail: g.pollastri@oberthurcs.com

Business Press
Manuela Tuveri
Tel: +39 02 72 585 352
Mail: manuelat@bpress.it

Euro RSCG Omnium
Marie-Carole de Groc/Odile Rebattet
Tel : +33 1 58 47 95 07 / 06
Mail: marie-carole.de-groc@eurorscg.fr
Mail: odile.rebattet@eurorscg.fr

Telecom Italia Media Relations
TIM Press Office
Tel: +39 06 36882499/2610
Mail: gabriele.sciacca@telecomitalia.it