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Tuesday 07 August 2001


SIM Card Glut Has Peaked says Infineon

The inventory backlog of SIM cards peaked in March or April, when GSM network operators and SIM card manufacturers together had 100 million to 150 million SIMs on hand, according to Infineon Technologies. Thomas Zollver, head of Infineon's chip card ICs unit, said Infineon, which last year was the top shipper of Smart Card chips worldwide, predicted inventory levels will return to normal during the fourth quarter.

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Chicago to Expand Smart Card Transit Program?

Chicago could soon boast the largest transit Smart Card program in the United States, as the Chicago Transit Authority plans to offer chip cards to 300,000 more customers early next year. While the authority's board must approve the purchase of the Smart Cards at a meeting next month, board members seemed impressed by the proposal.

"We believe Smart Cards will be the preferred fare option of the future and the CTA wants to expand this technology to most of our customers," said board chairperson, Valerie B. Jarrett.

Cubic Transportation Systems supplied the 3,500 Smart Cards being used in a pilot launched last summer. The agency expects to recoup most of the $1.8 million cost of the additional chip cards by charging riders $5 per card.

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Oberthur and Baltimore Partner on e-Commerce

Oberthur Card Systems has partnered with Baltimore Technologies to provide secure e-commerce transactions for financial institutions. The first implementation of the Identrus solution is now underway in the Nordic region.

Baltimore Technologies is supplying Nordea, the Nordic financial services group with Oberthur's black box for Identrus users, comprising Smart Card, reader and client software as part of its PKI-based Financial Trust Solution. The card acts as a secure and portable storage facility for the user's digital identification for e-commerce.

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Visa Advertisement Takes a Swipe at AmEx Blue

Visa USA's new television commercial promoting Smart Visa, its chip-based credit card, takes a swipe at rival American Express. The advertisement says Smart Visa is accepted in "millions more locations worldwide than AmEx Blue," a reference to the American Express Blue card - the first chip-based credit card introduced in the United States.

An American Express spokesperson declined to comment.

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Fujitsu Adds Mobile Intel Pentium III processor to LifeBook Family

Fujitsu PC Corporation has announced the release of an updated LifeBook E Series, featuring the next-generation Mobile Intel Pentium III processor-M and Intel 830 Chipset.

The company says that the adoption of Intel's new processing technology into the LifeBook E Series will result in faster and higher system performance. In combination with other features, this LifeBook can easily function as a desktop replacement, making it ideal for corporate and small office/home office (SOHO) users. Fujitsu's high-performance desktop replacement is available with processor speeds of 1.13GHz, 1.06GHz, 1GHz and 933MHz.

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Mobile Internet Access Expected to Surge

The mobile Internet access market is expected to increase from 2.9 million subscribers in 2000 to approximately 136 million by the end of 2007, according to the US Mobile Internet Access Market Report from Frost & Sullivan.

The report reveals that carriers generated revenues of $417.6 million from Internet traffic in 2000 and this figure is projected to surge to $25.89 billion by 2007.


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