Alcatel, Dutch telco PTT Nederland, and Schlumberger are among the firms chosen by the European Commission for a project to develop Java Internet applications.
The project is part of the EU's Advanced Communications and Services Technologies programme of research and development, Schlumberger said yesterday.
The aim of the project, dubbed Scarab (smartcard enabled reliable access), is to give subscribers a universal and highly portable intelligent token, for access to a multitude of telecomms services.
"For the final user it will give easy access to the network internationally, either by personal computer or telephone. It will simplify the interface. It will make a mobile telephone the same as if it is fixed," said Schlumberger's software R+D manager for Europe, Jean-Marc Lambert.
"The aim of the EU project is to define the infrastructure for mobile and for fixed, in an easy way to cope with a number of services. It is based on intelligent agents - bits of software in Java applets, on the server or mobile, or in the card," he said.
Schlumberger is providing the project with its Cyberflex Java Card technology, which is already being considered for a wide range of applications. Among those evaluating it are Citibank for banking applications, by Mercedes for cars, and by Nokia for its mobile phone systems.
The Java compliant Cyberflex card opens up secure ID and data storage of smartcards to the mainstream computer industry and more recently a prototype Java-compatible SIM (subscriber identity module) for GSM card applications was announced, Schlumberger said.
Belgium based Alcatel Bell is the prime contractor for the project while France's Alcatel Business Systems is providing terminal technology, Spain's GMV encryption, PTT Nederland service control and several universities software and security support.
Lambert said the two-year project would involve 350 man months of work, but was unable to put a financial figure on the costs.
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