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Vodafone UK today announces that the UK's first secure mobile electronic
signature trial will start next month. The groundbreaking trial, to be
conducted with the Radiocommunications Agency (RA), an Executive Agency
the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), will establish the electronic
signature technology that will underpin mobile commerce.
"As mobile penetration reaches new heights, the latest developments in
mobile technology will change the way we use our mobile devices. The
technology will offer customers the ability to sign transactions
wherever they are. We are pleased to be a part of this innovative trial
which will demonstrate how electronic signatures could become part of
everyday lives," commented Patricia Hewitt, the Minister for Small
and E-Commerce.
Peter Bamford, Chief Executive Northern Europe, for the Vodafone Group,
said, "Legally recognisable electronic signatures are fundamental to our
mobile commerce strategy. As the Government have already announced plans
allow individuals to submit tax returns electronically using digital
signatures, we hope that these trials will go some way towards
the technology and help the DTI to promote the UK as the European leader
mobile commerce.
"Using information contained on their SIM smartcard, present in mobile
phones, Vodafone customers will have the potential to use their mobile
device whenever and wherever they currently use their signature. Whereas
today we write cheques, pay by credit card or debit card, sign mortgage
stock trading contracts and in our working environments sign holiday
or timesheets, in the future these transactions could all be completed
just your mobile device. The trials will demonstrate that the technology
easy to use and provides a more secure method of authorisation than our
current hand-written signatures", he continued.
Mobile phones with in-built smartcards provide an ideal platform for the
technology and this will be verified during the trial with the RA. In
with current EU Directives, the encrypted signatures are generated
advanced, highly secure techniques developed by SmartTrust, GlobalSign,
Giesecke & Devrient and Secartis, with Vodafone enabling the techniques
be incorporated into the mobile network.
For the purposes of the trial, fifty RA staff will complete and
electronically sign their travel or subsistence forms while away from
office, using a Siemens C35I digital GSM mobile phone. When prompted,
will enter a PIN number to release a cryptographic signature that is
secure than hand-written signatures as it guarantees the signature is
and ensures the integrity of the data being signed.
Other industries are expected to embrace cryptographic signatures
there are demanding security requirements and, indeed, some banks have
started to test these services.

- ends -

Press & Analyst Contact
Juergen Dierickx
Tel: + 32 2 724 3636
Fax: + 32 2 724 3637

Vodafone Group Press Office
Janine Young or Michelle Burgess
Tel: 07000 500100


· Vodafone Group Plc is the largest mobile communications network
in the
world with operations in 24 countries worldwide, serving a proportionate
customer base of over 65.75 million.

· Vodafone is the most popular mobile network operator in the UK
with more
than 10.24 million customers.

· SmartTrust has supplied hardware and software platforms to run
application for the DTI, in order to request signatures and verify their

· GlobalSign has delivered the root certificate, the core of the
hierarchy, which offers recognition to all certificates used in this

· Secartis has designed and implemented the security architecture
the directory of certificates that are vital to proving authenticity of

· Giesecke and Devrient has developed the smartcards.

· Digital signatures employing PKI systems provide:
Confidentiality - to guard against eavesdropping; Authentication - the identity
of the individual is proven; Integrity - information cannot be manipulated; Non-Repudation - for dispute resolution

· At present, SIM cards do not have the functionality to enable
signatures. However in the near future, SIM cards with this
will be introduced.

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