The Global Chipcard Alliance (GCA)’s ranks have grown again with the announcement that global telecommunications provider, British Telecommunications plc., has become a member. BT, the GCA’s 27th member, joins other smart card leaders from a diverse industry cross-section, to create an oif> infrastructure for chip cards and to create global if>interoperability for multiple application smart cards.!
“BT’s decision to join the Global Chipcard Alliance again demonstrates the broad support for the GCA’s efforts to achieve worldwide smart card interoperability,” said David Anastasi, GCA President and Vice President and General Manager U S WEST Public Access Solutions & Smart Card Division. “We depend on the diversity of our members to provide an open environment where smart/chip card advancement can flourish. British Telecommunications plc. will be an asset to the existing body of dedicated industry players.”
BT has significant experience of the development of Eurochip Smartcards used in public payphones and will bring this world-renowned development expertise to the GCA.
“Companies like BT understand the importance for those heavily invested in the industry to join forces, and they recognize the value of the Global Chipcard Alliance,” added Gerard Ketelaar, Vice President of the GCA and Manager of the InterActive Services Group KPN (formerly PTT Telecom Netherlands).
“BT plans to be at the center of smart card developments in the UK and across the globe. At the same time, we have a commitment to the evolution of global open systems and standards and this has made membership of the Global Chipcard Alliance a natural step forward,” said Jon Collinson, Head of SmartCard Business Development at BT.
“Smart cards are a key enabler for all kinds of exciting new applications which our customers will really value. We fully share the GCA’s vision of a global compatibility in smart card technology, so that these customers can use their cards anywhere in the world. We are currently putting plans in place to develop the infrastructure and secure processing platform required to handle this new generation of multi-application smart cards. But, we can only make it happen if it is based on globally accepted standards,” Collinson emphasized.
Underlying the global acceptance efforts, the Global Chipcard Alliance is committed to making strides in interoperability. In April, the Global Chipcard Alliance and the Smart Card Forum (SCF) agreed to create a joint interoperability program of panels to explore and seek solutions to the interoperability issue. The panels are a first step in cooperative efforts, setting the pace for the importance of cross-industry cooperation in critical areas, not only for companies, but also for key industry bodies. The first panel will be delivered at the SCF Annual Meeting in September, the second at GCA’s Member Meeting in November.
About British Telecommunications plc
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of telecommunications services. Its principal activity is the supply of local, long distance and international telecommunications services and equipment in the UK, serving 27 million exchange lines. International direct-dial telephone service is available to more than 200 countries and other overseas territories – covering 99 per cent of the world’s 800 million telephones. BT is expanding its presence overseas rapidly and has operations in more than 30 countries worldwide, with joint ventures in France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and India. In addition, BT entered into a US$1 billion joint venture three years ago with MCI, the second largest carrier in the US, to form Concert and create a global network for multi- national companies; the Concert network currently has 6,000 access points round the world and provides managed network services to more than 800 cities in 50 countries.
About the Global Chipcard Alliance
The Global Chipcard Alliance (GCA) was established in 1996 and is now 27 member companies strong. The GCA’s mission is to create an environment which accelerates the development of multi-functional smart/chip technology and related applications through business alliances that have a commitment to: 1) worldwide open interoperable networks, 2) public advocacy, 3) endorsing of standards and specifications, and 4) advancement of cross industry multiapplications and solutions, electronic commerce, and communications- enabled applications and solutions. For more information on the Global Chipcard Alliance visit its Website at .