Alcatel, Birdstep, Gemplus Target Mobile Networks and WLAN Continuity

4/29/2004 - Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE:ALA), Birdstep Technology, a global provider of Mobile IP software client technology and Gemplus International S.A. (Euronext: LU0121706294 - GEM and NASDAQ: GEMP), the world’s leading provider of smart card based solutions, announced an alliance to jointly develop, promote and market the industry’s most secure solution for seamless service continuity between GSM/GPRS/EDGE, UMTS or CDMA mobile networks and WLAN. This alliance will also apply to emerging technologies such as WiMAX.

This collaboration will enable users of laptops and PDAs to have an “always best connected” experience at any time, and to seamlessly profit from a smart card (SIM) based secure handover between heterogeneous access networks, ensuring the highest data rate, relying on a single subscription.

Alcatel will integrate the new Birdstep’s intelligent Mobile IP client software into its EvoliumTM multi-access offering. This will enable seamless roaming across multiple access networks, with a smart card (SIM) enabled client software designed by Gemplus for secured wireless communications and transactions. This unique combination will provide mobile operators with the best of breed solution for secure mobile broadband service continuity.

All it requires is the client software to be installed on the end-users’ Mobile/WLAN enabled laptop or PDA and the SIM card to be integrated in a PCMCIA card inside the laptop. In the near future, the SIM will be in a USB key plugged onto the PDA, or simply inside a BlueTooth-enabled handset. As soon as users pass by a WLAN hot spot, the intelligent client software automatically notifies the end-user of broadband services availability directly accessed in a totally transparent manner.

“The Birdstep Mobile IP client software has evolved to meet the demands of infrastructure vendors and other component vendors who want to provide seamless mobility with their solutions”, commented Jørgen Bredesen, chief executive officer of Birdstep Technology. “By jointly creating end-to-end seamless solutions for operators, our alliance with Alcatel and Gemplus will provide a one-stop-shop for the market in need of secure seamless mobility.”

“The Gemplus smart card authentication solution allows service providers to offer a totally reliable and convenient tool for accessing a network, WLAN, GPRS or even 3G, while providing the same user experience”, declared Jacques Seneca, executive vice president, Gemplus Business Development Group. “The partnership with Alcatel and Birdstep establishes a consistent offer for providing a unique experience for seamless mobile data access via a laptop or a PDA.”

“Alcatel’s vision is to consider the end-user at the center of the mobile experience by offering solutions guaranteeing totally transparent access to services from any device, regardless of the access technology,” stated Marc Rouanne, chief operating officer of Alcatel’s mobile activities. “Our alliance with Birdstep and Gemplus supports this strategy and allows us to provide operators with new business opportunities based on the complementary interaction of their mobile networks today with WLAN, tomorrow with WiMAX.”

About Birdstep Technology
Birdstep Technology is traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE) under ticker ’BIRD’. The company has headquarters in Oslo and Seattle in addition to offices in London, Boston and San Francisco. Birdstep’s small footprint, high performance database technologies combined with its wireless roaming and access software enables companies to build innovative solutions for embedded systems and the Mobile Internet. Birdstep makes your information accessible anytime, anywhere, on any device and on any infrastructure. Birdstep’s global customers include 3Com (COMS), VERITAS (VRTS), Harman Becker Automotive Systems, HP (HPQ), Accenture (ACN), Telenor (TELN), PCTel (PCTI), Connect One and the National Stock Exchange of India. For more information, visit

About Gemplus
Gemplus International S.A.(Euronext: LU0121706294 - GEM and NASDAQ: GEMP) is the world’s leading player in the smart card industry in both revenue and total shipments (source 2002: Gartner-Dataquest, Frost & Sullivan, Datamonitor.) It has the largest R&D team, unrivalled experience, and an outstanding track record of technological innovation. Gemplus offers an exceptional range of portable, personalized solutions that bring security and convenience to people’s lives. These include Mobile Telecommunications, Public Telephony, Banking, Retail, Transport, Identity, WLAN, Pay-TV, e-government, access control, and a wealth of other applications. Gemplus’ revenue in 2003 was 749 million Euros.

About Alcatel
Alcatel provides communications solutions to telecommunication carriers, Internet service providers and enterprises for delivery of voice, data and video applications to their customers or to their employees. Alcatel leverages its leading position in fixed and mobile broadband networks, applications and services to bring value to its customers in the framework of a broadband world. With sales of EURO 12.5 billion in 2003, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit Alcatel on the Internet

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