Microsoft Joins GSM Association
Will Expand Role of Windows Powered Smart Cards for Mobile Applications
Cannes, France -- Feb. 19, 2001 -- Microsoft Corp. today announced it has joined the GSM Association. The announcement was made during the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France.
In its role as an associate member, Microsoft will provide Windows® Powered SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) Smart Cards to mobile network operators that are interested in deploying mobile commerce applications based on the Microsoft® Windows platform and applications for Windows. Windows Powered Smart Cards enable developers to design smart card solutions for a variety of applications by using well-proven desktop development tools to ensure faster time to market. SIM cards allow for personalization of data and services at the device level, as well as connectivity to Windows back-end data and services.
"We are excited to become a member of the GSM Association," said Mike Dusche, product manager for the Smart Card Group at Microsoft. "This will accelerate our ability to realize our goal of making SIMs an easily programmable platform for developers who want to deliver rich functionality to the GSM wireless family."
"We are delighted to welcome Microsoft as an Associate Member of the GSM Association," said Jim Healy, chair of the GSM Association. "Microsoft is very much at the forefront of the exciting 'new wave' of leading-edge technology suppliers to the wireless industry. Its focus is GSM because it sees major opportunities with more than 400 network operators that supply over 70 percent of the world's customers for wireless services."
"Windows Powered Smart Cards are an exciting technology development for the mobile industry," said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association. "Microsoft's membership in the GSM Association will further contribute to the association's efforts to expand the functionality of SIM cards and mobile communications."
"In North America, we also welcome Microsoft's decision to join the GSM Association," said Bob Brown, GSM North America chairman and executive director of the North American GSM Alliance LLC. "With 8 million customers already subscribing to GSM service in more than 6,000 cities in 48 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces, we see Microsoft's associate membership as a valuable addition to the GSM team here and abroad."
Windows Powered Smart Cards support popular smart card standards such as GSM 11.11 and 11.14, Europay Mastercard Visa (EMV), ISO 7816 and Visa Open Platform. Developers can program cards using both the Microsoft Visual Basic® development system and C. Current applications include healthcare, banking and customer loyalty programs, as well as SIM cards that can provide a range of applications including Short Message Service, mobile commerce, digital signature and location-based services.
About the GSM Association
The GSM Association is the world's leading wireless industry representative body, consisting of more than 514 second- and third-generation GSM network operators and key manufacturers and suppliers to the GSM industry. Membership of the association spans 162 countries of the world.
The GSM Association is responsible for the deployment and evolution of the GSM family of technologies (GSM, GPRS, EDGE and 3GSM) for digital wireless communications. The association's members provide digital GSM wireless services to more than 452 million customers (as of the end of January 2001). The GSM system accounts for approximately 70 percent of the total digital cellular wireless market.
About the North American GSM Alliance
North American GSM Alliance members include Airadigm Communications Inc.; Cingular Wireless; Conestoga Wireless Co.; Cook Inlet VoiceStream PCS; DIGIPH PCS; Iowa Wireless Services LP; Microcell Telecommunications Inc.; NPI Wireless; Powertel Inc.; SOL Communications; Telemetrix Technologies; TWS Inc.; VoiceStream Wireless Corp.; and Wireless 2000 PCS. The GSM Alliance works in cooperation with North American GSM equipment manufacturers Siemens, Motorola, Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks, Nokia and Ericsson.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.
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