Thursday, 17 February 2011

Now Orange Cash for Britons

Orange and MasterCard have launched the new contactless payment card - "Orange Cash" to enable users control their spending, and act as a secure alternative to carrying cash. As the UK's first major contactless prepaid MasterCard, Orange Cash can be used in over 30 million locations that accept MasterCard within the UK and abroad.

The announcement follows the launch of the Orange contactless credit card in 2010 and this year's roll out of a commercial contactless mobile payments service. The Orange Cash prepaid card can be used online and each card costs 5 pound, which can be loaded up to 5,000 pounds. The card is particularly aimed at students who want to manage their spending and for holidaymakers who want a hassle free, safe alternative to cash.

Orange Cash prepaid cards can be loaded with money at over 22,000 shops and petrol stations across the UK with the PayPoint logo, at 12,000 Post Offices, over 450 Orange retail stores and online on the Orange Cash website.

The Orange Cash card is also the country's first prepaid card to be offered with rewards that can be used on the customer's pay-as-you-go phone. One Orange prepaid reward point is earned for every 1-pound spent. Customers can redeem their rewards online for free texts, airtime, credit on Orange pay-as-you-go phones or vouchers for use in Orange shops. Orange pay-as-you-go customers can easily top up their Orange pay-as-you-go phone from the Orange Cash account, while funds can also be transferred between Orange Cash cards.

CardSmith Announces New Self-Service Card Station

CardSmith has released their new "cash-to-card" solution that enables existing cardholders to check a card account balance and re-value the account using cash.

Cardholders simply swipe their card to get their current balance, and then load any combination of $1, $5, $10 or $20 bills to revalue their card. The Station securely communicates with CardSmith's SaaS processing centre via the Internet using 128 bit SSL encryption. Internal meters track all cash and card dispensing activity making it easy for administrators to perform reconciliations and audits. Online reporting from CardSmith's On-Demand Web Reporting Server provides real-time insight into station usage and performance.

An optional card dispensing module is also available enabling campus guests to purchase and use visitor cards.

SAIC Awarded $2.5 Billion Task Order to Support U.S. Department of State Biometric Authentication Systems

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has been awarded the Vanguard 2, Task Order 2.2.1 by the U.S. Department of State to engineer, design, secure, operate and maintain its critical enterprise-wide IT network infrastructure in support of the Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM).

SAIC will mainly provide support on program management, operations of servers, network devices, anti-virus engineering, biometric authentication, encryption, monitoring tools, telephony, mobile computing platform, virtual environment and enclave security design.

The IRM is responsible for information technology by applying modern IT tools, approaches, systems, and information products and services to carry out its foreign policy mission. Chief among the Bureau's objectives is to expand the use of collaborative information refinement and development in order to provide end users with the most accurate, useful information and to improve IRM's commitment for transparent, interconnected diplomacy, information systems and to incorporate new technologies for the advancement of U.S. foreign policy.

SAIC's single award task order, awarded under the General Services Administration's Alliant government-wide acquisition contract, has a one-year base period of performance, nine one-year options and if all options are exercised, a total value of $2.5 billion.

G&D Offers Complete Solutions for LTE Network Operators

At the 2011 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is has presented its entire range of solutions for operators of LTE networks. G&D's portfolio includes more than just special SIM cards that open up brand new possibilities for LTE network operators and users. G&D also offers network operators a comprehensive management platform for the secure and flexible Over-the-Air (OTA) administration of SIM cards and devices via the network.

Unlike most other SIM card providers, Giesecke & Devrient offers management and server systems for the administration of the LTE cards issued to customers in addition to the LTE cards themselves, for use in devices. This gives LTE network operators the advantage of being able to source all the solutions they require during the roll-out and operation of a network from a single supplier. G&D's entire portfolio of SIM and device OTA server software is LTE ready including steering of roaming and handset management.

LTE, the fourth-generation (4G) mobile communications standard, enjoys numerous advantages over its predecessors - UMTS and HSPA. For a start, transmission capacity is substantially increased, allowing a far greater number of connections per cell to access broadband services. As a result, data rates on current LTE networks can reach up to 100 Mbit/s for downloads and 50 Mbit/s for uploads. LTE networks also require fewer system components and boast sharply reduced latency, making completely new broadband services possible for mobile devices.

LTE networks are being introduced worldwide. There are already 80 network operators around the world who are in the process of rolling out infrastructure to support 4G services.

Nokia Chairman Promises New Windows Phones in 2012

Nokia board chairman Jorma Ollila and the Company's CEO Stephen Elop believes the year 2012 will see new Nokia Windows phones in the market, and also stated that Nokia had other potential partners in addition to Microsoft and Google.

Ollila said Microsoft was not the only option for Nokia and added many companies had showed their interest in cooperating with the Finnish mobile phone maker. "There were Microsoft, Google and our own choice (to continue alone). And in addition to these we also had other suitors".

Recently, we have seen Nokia partnering with Microsoft to adopt Windows Phone software across its devices, replacing its home-grown Symbian open source operating system and turning the world's largest cellphone maker into a pure hardware player.

UK ID Cards Cost 2 Million-pound to Decommission

More than 2.25million-pound will be paid to compensate private firms after the UK Government abandoned the ID card scheme, in one of the first acts of the Coalition. Up to 400,000 pounds will also have to be spent on decommissioning the systems and destroying all personal data of card users. However surprisingly, thousands of 30 pound ID card holders will not receive any compensation.

The Immigration minister, Damian Green, revealed the figures in a letter to David Blunkett, the former home secretary, after a question on the issue. Mr. Blunkett said: "We are looking here at 2.25million-pound which has been thrown away for no purpose whatsoever. If identity cards and the work that had been done had been maintained, people would have been able to choose to continue using the card as a passport for domestic and European travel".

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