Irish e-security firm Baltimore Technologies has signed a strategic agreement with SFR, France’s second largest mobile operator, to provide the security for a new national mobile-commerce service.
Along with international IT services firm Atos Origin, Baltimore’s wireless security solution, Telepathy, will be used to enable SFR’s mobile subscribers to digitally sign transactions over their mobile phones, giving rise to a wide range of new, secure value-added services.
According to Baltimore, the project is one of the first projects in France that enables subscribers to digitally sign mobile transactions and simultaneously authorise secure credit card payments.
Telepathy is a wireless extension of Baltimore’s Unicert public key infrastructure (PKI) product, which enables digital certificates and public key cryptography, extensively used to secure e-commerce on the ‘wired internet’, to be integrated easily into existing mobile phone networks. The solution is designed to support current GSM and the next generation networks, thereby future-proofing the SFR investment.
Patrick Jourdas, senior vice-president of Baltimore’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business, explains: “We were first to market in 2001 with a commercial carrier grade wireless PKI when it became obvious that wireless data services would be a key driver of competitiveness in the mobile sector.”
Baltimore was selected by SFR as part of a consortium of partners led by Atos Origin, which will integrate the pilot, provide the gateway and host the platform. The consortium also includes Gemplus, which provides the SIM cards and OTA servers. The pilot programme was launched at Cartes 2002 and will run for four months. Initial mobile commerce applications will include remote payments, credit top-up, authentication to loyalty programmes and premium content.
By John Kennedy