Phones become Net connections
(Electronics Times; 09/14/98)

Schlumberger's latest subscriber identity module (SIM) card means it could 
 soon be possible to convert the humble GSM phone into a slavering Internet 
 terminal complete with electronic money, e-mail, e-commerce and database access 
 by changing the SIM card inside.

    With the new system, loyalty points, credit details and even electronic 
 money can be downloaded to the phone over the air, in a shop or even over the 
 Web from the home or office.

    More importantly for the cellular phone operators, it gives a mid-life kick 
 to GSM and should help to prevent the `churn' of people moving from one network 
 to another in search of the best deals.

    The key to the system developed by Schlumberger is the SIM card which is 
 based on the standard Java language running on a smartcard and supplied with a 
 32bit processor.

    Java applets from different suppliers - not just the network operator - can 
 be downloaded to the card through the GSM Short Message Service (SMS) or 
 through a point-of-sale terminal in a shop, using the graphical display on the 
 phone to access the Internet, rather than using the voice interface. The card 
 ties up with a fault tolerant server called Artemis-OTA developed by 
 Schlumberger for the remote SMS download, or through Artemis-POS for the point-
 of-sale systems.

    The use of the Artemis-Web server means that it will even be possible to 
 download applets for the current design of phone over the Internet to customise 
 mobile services directly from a home or office PC.

    The amount of customisation that the user is able to do is restricted to 
 reduce the security problems that occur when downloading `unknown' applets. The 
 Schlumberger system includes encryption and a point-to-point identification 
 layer that means applets can be delivered only to specific destinations.

    The commercial release of the technology this week follows more than six 
 months of beta trials with mobile operators, terminal manufacturers and service 
 providers, including Nokia, Sonera, Swisscom and Telecom Italia Mobile.

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