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Vodafone KK Develops Contactless Smart Card Mobile Handset

Vodafone KK announced it has jointly developed a contactless interface prototype mobile handset with Sharp Corporation that is compatible with smart card embedded flash memory cards. This prototype’s contactless communication is made possible by inserting a smartcard-embedded flash memory into the handset’s memory card slot.

Features of mobile handsets that use contactless services include the download of ‘electronic value’ via mobile internet connections and being able to confirm smart card information on the handset display. Additional merits unique to the removable memory card system are as follows:

– Customers can use multiple smart card communication systems and services on one handset.

– Customers can continue to use contactless services when they upgrade to a new handset by simply inserting the memory card.

– Possible to use contactless services on other information terminals (PCs, PDAs, intelligent home electronics car navigation devices, etc.) allowing for the usage of new services.

The prototype handset’s smart card-embedded flash memory card uses two types of specifications: JICSAP 2.0, which Vodafone KK expects to use in traffic applications and other business field, and ISO 14443 Type B, for expected use in finance and public administration and other business fields. By switching memory cards, customers will be able to use both types of specifications on one handset. Vodafone KK is working with Hitachi, Ltd. on the development of the card.

In the interst of developing services on a global level, Vodafone KK is moving ahead in studying mobile handset and smart card applications that are compatible with international standards. Vodafone KK plans to examine the possibilities of commercializing the service by engaging in discussions with industry groups, service providers and system vendors from multiple perspectives while conducting technological development and verification in parallel. Vodafone KK will work towards providing its customers with a service infrastructure environment that enables them to enjoy contactless services expected to further penetrate into the transportation, electronic ticket, identification, financial and public administration sectors.

Vodafone KK plans to display and demonstrate the prototype at the Business Show Tokyo 2004 trade fair held from May 11 at Tokyo Big Sight.

About Fabrizio Pilato

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