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Smart cards to secure wireless LANs

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Nineteen companies including Alcatel, Gemplus, Infineon, SchlumbergerSema, Texas Instruments and Visa have formed a major new initiative to define specifications for worldwide access to wireless LAN networks using smart cards.

The WLAN Smart Card Consortium aims to mandate smart cards for worldwide wireless security, quality of service, roaming, and related services over wireless networks by endorsing existing standards and defines new specifications where needed.

Other founding members of the consortium include Oberthur Card Systems, Koolspan, Trusted Logic, INRIA, the ENST, Ucopia and Transat.

"In order for the WLAN market to take off, there is a strong need to improve security, control access and protect user identity, which is where the strength of the smart card lies,” Gemplus representative Hubert Coyne said.

“The first challenge of the WLAN smart card consortium is in specifying the use of the card in order to facilitate smart card adoption. This is therefore an important initiative for Gemplus and why we intend to have an active participation”.

"Emerging technologies are likely to soon address the challenges of security, authentication, and seamless roaming management for WLAN deployment," INRIA Vice-President for Technology Transfer Laurent Kott continued.

“However there is definitely a need for a worldwide initiative promoted by companies and public research organisations, so as to enable vendor-neutral deployment of complete solutions for users, and smart card technologies appear as an excellent basis for achieving this goal”.

For more information the WLAN Smart Card Consortium, visit http://WLANSmartCard.org

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