to India for Finland’s phone-wallahs
Leading wireless players
in Finland are eyeing the world’s fastest
growing phone market: They are poised to enter
the Indian ‘mobile maidan’ with
technologies they believe will be found both
compelling and cost-effective. In addition to
the world’s number one handset maker,
Nokia, they include less familiar names such
as Valimo Wireless, Openbit and UpCode.
Nokia plans to showcase its Near
Field Communication technology where a mobile
phone can double as a multi-purpose smart card
for various transactions.
The company is working with the
State Bank of India to create meaningful applications.
“Imagine your credit cards,
loyalty cards, and travel card all inside your
mobile phone. You can also access your favourite
websites, get travel timetables, beside make
phone calls, sending text messages, and share
information with your friends just by tapping
your mobile phone to reach shortcut,”
suggests Waldemar Sakalus, Nokia’s Vice-President,
Valimo Wireless’ solution
transforms any mobile phone into an ID card
and signature pen, for online and mobile services.
A user-chosen signing PIN number tells the SIM
card to generate a digital signature, sent via
encrypted SMS. “Consumers can use their
mobile phone for legally binding signing of
documents like PDF files and email; private
network access , secure online banking and even
cardless ATM withdrawals,” says Antti
Vihavainen, Valimo’s Senior Vice-President
(Business Development and Professional Services).
“We hope to start our operations soon
in India,” he adds.
Openbit, a Helsinki-based company,
which was recently acquired by Indian mobile
services provider Tanla Solutions Ltd, integrates
on-device payment and DRM (digital rights management)
for mobile applications. Its multi-platform
solution covers all major phone software systems.
Openbit provides subscriber charging services
in nearly 90 operator networks worldwide.
UpCode offers a “Mobile Access
& Interaction Systems” that uses mobile
phones or devices to extract information from
printed products and electronic information
on screens. One can access information by just
pointing a mobile phone at a code that immediately
connects to the Internet site containing the
data. One can download the UpCode programme
to a mobile phone free of charge.
When will we see these mobile
applications in India? “Wait and see,”
say these developers from Finland, “we’re
coming soon to the phone in your hand!”