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Ericsson Makes Mobile Pay for Itself

In its latest push to drive wireless platforms beyond horoscopes and news, Ericsson has launched a Mobile Commerce Platform to provide a secure solution for operators to deliver their own m-commerce services.

The new platform, which Ericsson expects to make commercially available in the second quarter of this year, includes modules for access, payment and security. It enables network operators and service providers to offer secure payment services for m-commerce transactions, leaving them only with the issue of how to present these services to the user.

The Mobile Commerce Platform supports Jalda, a payment technology developed by Ericsson/Hewlett-Packard joint venture EHPT. The technology enables micro and session-based payments from fixed and mobile devices, and in real terms means that an operator can charge for both site content and for goods and services promoted through a site. This more flexible approach allows Internet companies to charge for site content in a similar model adopted by organisations such as US publication The Wall Street Journal.

The platform has evolved from EHPT9s SafeTrader and Ericsson9s Mobile e-Pay, that incorporate security functions from password verification to Wireless Public Key Infrastructure The Mobile Commerce Platform is a key component of Ericsson9s Internet Services Platform, an end-to-end service creation solution designed to help operators and service providers deliver mobile Internet services to their markets.

Ericsson also sees the Mobile Commerce Platform as a logical step towards the greater role it predicts mobile devices will play in the way users interact with the Internet. 3We are giving customers a solid foundation for creating new value by offering services to cater for the rapid growth we expect to see in m-commerce worldwide,2 said Lars Boman, president of Ericsson Internet Applications of the company9s drive towards mobile applications.

Some of the applications Ericsson envisions the market using include personalisable services that require a secure link between customer and merchant, such as banking, ticket purchasing, shopping, gaming and betting. The platform will also offer an end user online service function called mCare that will provide context-sensitive help with using the mobile Internet.

The Mobile Commerce Platform is ready for General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), which is being rolled out by operators as a step towards 3G. Ericsson has also made Application Programming Interfaces for the solution available via free download to developers, through its Ericsson Developers Zone.