A major new initiative to define specifications for world-wide access to Wi-Fi networks with smart card security and related capabilities is to be launched with the creation of the Wi-Fi Smart Card Consortium.
The major motivation and benefit from Wi-Fi networks is increased mobility. Unlike conventional network connections, network users can move about almost without restriction and access Wi-Fi networks from nearly anywhere. Examples of the practical uses for wireless network access are limited only by the imagination of the application designer. Wi-Fi hotspots enable handheld and laptop users to connect to the Internet from public places such as airports, cafes and public libraries, or within private enclaves such as corporations. Wi-Fi hotspots will grow rapidly, with current projections anticipating several hundred million connections over the next several years.
One major challenge that has hampered wireless Internet growth to date is secure mobility management. This challenge can be resolved using smart card properties. Indeed, smart cards can provide functions for world-wide Wi-Fi security, quality of service, roaming, and related services. To reach this goal, the Wi-Fi Smart Card Consortium will endorse existing standards and define new specifications where needed to provide world-wide access to Wi-Fi networks with smart card security, privacy, roaming, convenience, and related capabilities.
“The world-wide potential of Wi-Fi can be unleashed by using smart cards for security, roaming, and a full set of personalized services,” says Bertrand du Castel, Head of Smart Card Research at SchlumbergerSema and Pro Tempore President of the consortium.
Gilles Kahn, Vice-President for Science of INRIA, the French research organization that lends its prestige to launching and managing the initiative, concurs: “Using smart cards for security and personalization is convenient, it respects privacy, and it is arguably safe.” The first plenary meeting of February 4-5 in Paris will gather the founders of the organization. Founder status will be granted to any member signing the founding charter of the organization by the first day of the plenary session. For more information on how to become a founding member of the Wi-Fi Smart Card Consortium, visit http://WiFiSmartCard.org or contact:
SchlumbergerSema, Austin, Texas: Bertrand du Castel (Pro Tempore President, [email protected])
Cisco, San Jose, California: Christophe Servais (Pro Tempore Chairman, Business, [email protected])
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Founded in 1967, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control works at the heart of the information society and networks the skills of all French research and training organizations active in the areas of Information Technologies and Sciences. Consequently, half of the 95 research project-teams currently underway at INRIA are being carried out jointly with universities, leading schools and research organizations. INRIA plays a determining role in four areas of research: networks and systems; software engineering and symbolic computation; man-machine interaction, imaging, data, knowledge; simulation and optimization of complex systems. With MIT for America and the University of Keio for Asia, INRIA is the European leader of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). For more information about INRIA, see http://www.inria.fr/.
SchlumbergerSema is one of two business segments of Schlumberger Limited, a global technology services company. With more than 30,000 employees serving customers in 65 countries, SchlumbergerSema aggregates IT consulting, systems integration, managed services and related products to the oil and gas, telecommunications, energy and utilities, finance, transport and public sector markets. Leveraging the Schlumberger DeXa* Suite of Services, it also provides IP network connectivity, information security solutions, distributed computing support services and data center hosting services. In 2001, Schlumberger revenues were $14.3 billion. For more information, visit www.slb.com.
Ucopia is a leading Wi-Fi start-up providing enterprise mobility management software. A pioneer in the use of smart cards in Wi-Fi networks, Ucopia has been a driving force in the creation of the Wi-Fi Smart Card Consortium. More information about Ucopia at www.ucopia.com.
Note to editors: The asterisk following DeXa in the graph under “About SchlumbergerSema” is a mark of SchlumbergerSema. CONTACT: SchlumbergerSema, Austin, Texas
Bertrand du Castel, 512/331-3205
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