Radicchio initiative will open the floodgates for mobile commerce worldwide

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SONERA, GEMPLUS AND EDS LAUNCH GLOBAL INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE SECURE MOBILE COMMERCE

Sonera SmartTrust, a business unit of Sonera Ltd., international forerunner in mobile, data and media communications, Gemplus and EDS (Electronic Data Systems) formed a global initiative to define a standard security platform for mobile e-commerce. 

Called Radicchio, the initiative will promote the use of an environment based on a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), allowing secure electronic transactions to take place over mobile networks. There are now more mobile phones in use worldwide than PCs, and analysts predict that the market for mobile commerce will be worth $66bn by 2003 .

Mobile commerce is being made possible by new technologies that allow mobile phones and other handheld devices to access the Internet. This creates a vast new potential channel for e-commerce. By 2003, there will be over 800 million Web-enabled mobile phones in use worldwide, by 2004 there will be more handsets than televisions . To allay companies’ fears about the security of mobile commerce, Sonera SmartTrust has developed a PKI-based framework that provides a highly secure environment for financial transactions and information exchange.

The Radicchio initiative seeks to promote the use of this framework among certification authorities, mobile operators, systems integrators, device manufacturers and financial institutions. This will ensure that as mobile commerce grows, there will be a standard security platform upon which all mobile commerce software, services and devices can be based. Another key aim is to persuade governments, government bodies and regulators to take the framework into account when drawing up new e-commerce legislation or guidelines.

"E-services like Internet banking and online share dealing are already possible on mobile phones, but one of the main things holding organisations back from offering them is concern about the security of their data and their customers’ data," said Harri Vatanen, Senior Vice President, Head of Sonera SmartTrust. "Through the Radicchio initiative we aim to help companies and customers understand that the technology exists to make mobile commerce transactions just as secure as any that happen in the physical world."


Radicchio is now looking to recruit further members from industry and government to increase its global reach and promote the use of PKI-based mobile commerce among financial institutions and other industry sectors leading the way into this new commercial medium. Amongst others, Ericsson is lending its support to the Radicchio initiative.


About Radicchio
Radicchio is a global initiative formed in September 1999 with Sonera SmartTrust, EDS, and Gemplus as its first members. Its aim is to define and promote a standard security platform for mobile commerce based on a public key infrastructure.

About Sonera
Sonera Ltd. is an international forerunner in mobile, data and media communications. Sonera is Finland´s leading telecommunications company with subsidiaries and associated companies in 14 countries. In 1998, Sonera´s revenues amounted to USD 1.9 billion and the profit before extraordinary items and taxes USD 404 million. The Group employs approximately 9000 people. Sonera SmartTrust, a business unit of Sonera, is a global leader in mobile e-commerce services and platforms based on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Information about Sonera can be found on the Internet at http://www.sonera.fi and http://www.sonera.fi/smarttrust.

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