Awarded with contract to supply a comprehensive nationalidentity solution including the issuance of over 1.2 million
smart ID cards<br /><br /> - Part of Sultanate of Oman strategy to improve quality of public service and homeland security infrastructure<br /><br /> - First nationwide smart card-based citizen identity solution to be deployed in the Middle East<br /><br />
LUXEMBOURG, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ –
Gemplus International SA (Nasdaq: GEMP) (Paris Euronext: Euroclear 5768), the
world’s leading provider of smart card-enabled solutions, today announces that
it has been awarded a contract to deliver a comprehensive national
identification (ID) solution to the Sultanate of Oman.
This is the first smart card-based identity solution ever implemented in
the Middle East. The Sultanate’s smart citizen identity card is intended for
launch by end 2003, after all necessary integration and infrastructure
developments are made. The contract appoints Gemplus to provide consultancy,
project management and integration, as well as services, software and cards.
The Sultanate of Oman wishes to provide better, faster and more accurate
public services for its citizens together with higher levels of security,
including biometrics. The Sultanate has invested in a modern system that
utilizes open Java Card(TM) technology, in order to deliver a versatile ID
solution that can easily accommodate future e-Government applications. Whilst
a number of smart card-based ID programs are being undertaken around the
world, the Sultanate of Oman is pursuing this global trend, paving the way
amongst leading technology countries.
Over 1.2 million smart cards will be deployed, initially enabling personal
digital identification. Oman’s citizens and residents will be able to
securely and conveniently store their personal credentials on the cards,
including name, address, digital photo ID and fingerprints. It is planned to
extend the smart card usage to host the individual’s driver’s license and
border control applications, with other applications, including emergency
medical data, being added over time. The ID cards combined with biometric
recognition will be able to be checked both by portable terminals and by
automatic electronic validation, for example at airport immigration
In addition to acquiring technology, the Sultanate of Oman is aiming to
develop new technical competencies within the Royal Oman Police force, which
is the local authority managing the ID program. Gemplus will deliver this
through extensive IT training and skills transfer programs.
His Excellency, Hilal Bin Khalid Al Ma’uwaly, Inspector General, Royal
Oman Police force, said:
“The NRS/smart card initiative illustrates the capability of different
government organizations in integrating the services rendered to the public.”
Dr. Soulaiman Al-Harthy, Directorate General, Royal Oman Police force,
“We are eager to launch the NRS/smart card solution, which took our
dedicated project office years of careful thinking and planning. We learnt
from the experience of other nations and adopted a state of the art solution,
which is open, flexible and capable of standing the test of time. Gemplus was
selected as the final vendor, due to their expertise and professionalism.
They were selected according to very careful and stringent criteria. We are
looking forward to work with Gemplus as partners and are keen to transfer the
required skills for business continuity to our staff.”
Gilles Michel, President Gemplus Financial and Security Services, said:
“We are delighted to have gained this important contract. The Sultanate
of Oman recognises that smart card technology provides the ideal means to
manage personal credentials and to provide a secure, reliable and flexible
platform for public services and security. Through this program, the
Sultanate is taking a leading position in introducing the benefits of smart
cards at a national level. The contract also reinforces Gemplus’ position in
this important new growth market.”
Alex Mandl, Chief Executive Officer of Gemplus, said:
“ID programs are a key element of Gemplus’ future strategy. Smart cards
provide a simple, durable and highly cost effective means of enabling and
controlling secure access and identification. Increasingly, they are a
fundamental tool for governments and organisations of all kinds, both to
improve service and to reinforce personal and national security. The
Sultanate of Oman is leading the way in putting these principles into
GEMPLUS: the world’s leading provider of smart card solutions.
Gemplus helps its clients offer an exceptional range of portable, personalized
solutions that bring security and convenience to people’s lives. These
include mobile Internet access, inter-operable banking facilities, e-commerce
and a wealth of other applications.
Gemplus is the only completely dedicated, truly global player in the Smart
Card industry, with the largest R&D team, unrivalled experience, and an
outstanding track record of technological innovation.
In 2001, Gemplus was the worldwide smart card leader in both revenues and
total smart card shipments (source: Gartner-Dataquest and Frost & Sullivan).
Gemplus was also awarded Frost & Sullivan’s 2002 Market Value Award for its
Gemplus trades its shares on Euronext Paris S.A. First Market and on the
NASDAQ Stock Market as GEMP in the form of ADSs. Its revenue in 2001 was
1 billion Euros.
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