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Secure Transactions News

High Speed protocol to be voted on November 20th

Thursday 16 November 2006

More people than ever in the industry are convinced there is an urgent need to reach a conclusion to this open discussion that has been lasting for months. But, now, there are more options than ever:

  • MMC technology
  • USB technology, including SWP, Single Wire Protocol
  • Multi-Protocol Interface, also called T=1x
  • SD technology

Groups of supporters count themselves, and evaluate the chance of success of their option…

After months of hesitation (cf. Smart Insights #06-24), Gemalto has finalized a position and will support officially USB. Three major European telecom operators (Vodafone, Telefonica Moviles / O2, and T-Mobile) have announced their support for USB. On the other hand, many handset suppliers, led by Nokia, are in favor of the T=1x protocol, considering implementing USB in a handset will both be expensive and increase time-to-market. The telecom operators Orange France and Telecom Italia Mobile have not yet disclosed their intentions though it is understood they'd support MMC because it allows a fast deployment on the market. During last meeting, SanDisk killed the MMC option by throwing their set of patents over the technology into the debate. SanDisk, and their subsidy mSystems might favor SD as this is the standard they are pushing across all applications.

If the Smart Card Platform group is unable to conclude this time, the 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) has threatened to take over the subject and standardize the high speed smart card interface by themselves.