Aether Systems, Inc. announced that its European venture with Reuters, SILA Communications, has signed a worldwide licensing agreement with Schlumberger, a major manufacturer and designer of smart-card-based solutions.
SILA, owned 60 percent by Aether and 40 percent by Reuters, is a leading provider of wireless application services for mobile devices in Europe and Asia. The agreement means that Schlumberger Simera’s Java SIM cards will host SILA’s software allowing large volumes of data, such as market and share changes, to be transmitted to mobile phones and other wireless devices quickly and at minimal cost.
The compression software that SILA has developed means that high volumes of data and broadband services can be compressed into small packages and sent to any device over the limited amounts of bandwidth currently available. Schlumberger Java card technology enables both easy integration of the SILA software into the mobile environment and brings end-user interactivity. The Simera card decompresses the information and allows mobile subscribers to adjust their shares portfolio.
SILA Communications is initially targeting its broadband service at the financial sector, providing users with up to date information on movement in the markets, fast-breaking news and sports to any wireless device.
“Up until now, traders have been able to view stock movements using paging devices but have been unable to react to them,” says Bo Kroll, president of SILA. “The deal with Schlumberger means that mobile devices will soon be fitted with decompression software that will enable us to offer up to the minute financial information enhanced with full two way transaction capability alongside other broadband services. ”
Eric Claudel, Vice President Mobile Communications for Schlumberger in Europe, comments. “The agreement with SILA is another milestone in our commitment to provide a wide portfolio of value-added services within an open Java environment. In less than a year, most mobile devices will be fitted with the capability to receive and display a range of information in a format that is cost effective for operators to provide and easy for customers to use.”
Although the focus is currently on the financial sector, the decompression software embedded in the SIM card will enable SILA Communications to offer a range of personalised services and information from sports fixtures and latest scores to local entertainment guides.
SILA Communications, formed in May 2000 with an initial capitalization of $167 million, is in the process of granting a number of operating licenses to mobile phone network operators for the commercial use of the SILA system.