Nokia launches product for m-commerce

Nokia launched on Monday a new product aimed at financial institutions interested in providing mobile e-commerce services such as mobile banking and online payments.

The Nokia Activ Signet Solution has been built according to various security standards and protocols, and given security features, to provide protection of transactions, validate digital signatures and safeguard customer identity, Nokia said. The product is scheduled for release in the second quarter of this year. To use the Nokia Activ Signet Solution, companies must have already implemented the Enterprise Edition of the Nokia Activ Server and Nokia Activ Security option with client authentication support, Nokia said.

This announcement comes just days after Nokia's rival L.M. Ericsson Telephone bundled a pair of its previous m-commerce offerings into a package it calls the Mobile Commerce Platform. The Ericsson platform is designed to let users make online purchases from a cellular phone. One analyst seemed less than impressed with the state of m-commerce and with these vendors' attempts to provide related products.

"I don't think you will see lots of corporations moving toward these types of mobile services right now," said Carsten Schmidt, associate analyst with Forrester Research Inc. in Amsterdam. "It will take time for IT departments to test and see which services work the best and where the security holes are."

Schmidt feels the cell phone makers have to step up their position in the wireless segment, making not only hardware but also applications, in order to reap some reward from their heavy investment.

"Nokia and Ericsson have to deliver the applications that they thought the industry might have come up with," he said. "They want to push it and give the other guys a kick in the pants. Companies like SAP (AG) will follow."

Once traditional software vendors make m-commerce applications, corporate users will more readily adopt the technology, the analyst said.

It may take some time, but m-commerce will become commonplace in the business world eventually, he said.

"Many of these companies have an extremely big interest in making sure all of this works," Schmidt said.

Nokia in Espoo, Finland is at +358-9-5113-8193, or at http://www.nokia.com/.

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