Setec and Gemplus SA

Setec, a Gemplus Company, Delivers Biometric Passports for Norway's Nationwide Deployment

    Vantaa, Finland, November 3 (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - In a 30 Million Euro Contract, Setec Manages the Entire Norwegian  Passport Production Chain, From Personalization to Delivery

    Setec, Northern Europe's leading developer and manufacturer of visual and electronic card products, and a Gemplus company, announces today that it has begun the personalization and delivery of Norway's new biometric passports. As of October 2005, all the conventional passports in Norway have microchips with biometric identifiers. Currently, Norway is one of only two countries in the world, alongside Sweden, that has started the mandatory, nationwide deployment of biometric passports for their citizens, compliant with international standards.

    Setec manages the entire Norwegian passport production chain. The passport booklets are manufactured by Setec in Finland and the booklets are personalized by Setec's subsidiary, Setec Norge AS, established in Oslo, Norway, earlier this year.

    Setec won the international tender for the Norwegian passports in April this year. The three-year agreement with the Norwegian authorities includes an option for two additional years.

    The Norwegian biometric passports are developed and manufactured according to the world's most demanding security requirements of the ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, as well as those of European Union. The holder's personal data and digitally formatted facial image are stored in microchips within the actual passport.

    Pekka Eloholma, President and Chief Executive Officer, Setec, explains "The timetable for the Norwegian passport project was very demanding as we had to develop a new product, create a delivery and personalization process and establish our new subsidiary, Setec Norge AS, within the six months after winning the bid. However, thanks to the flexibility of our entire organization and its ability for top performance as well as the constructive cooperation with the customer, the deliveries of the Norwegian passports have begun and we are very happy with the result."

    "We are happy to report that the start of the launch of Norway's totally new passport has been a success," states Steinar Talgø, Assistant Director, the National Police Directorate, Norway.

    Besides Norway, Setec also has begun to manufacture biometric passports for Sweden and has been chosen to deliver also their technology to several other countries including Denmark. Currently, Setec manufactures and personalizes conventional, i.e. visual passports for Denmark and Finland.

    Setec has been a Gemplus company since June 2005. The combined references and contract volume makes Gemplus the undisputed leader in the electronic passport and identity card market.

      For further information, please contact:
      Tuula Wäyrynen
      Corporate Communications Manager
      Jane Strachey
      Gemplus Press Relations Manager
      +33-(0)442364661 / +33-(0)676493593

    About Gemplus and Setec

    Gemplus International S.A. (Euronext: LU0121706294 - GEM and NASDAQ: GEMP) is the world's leading player in the smart card industry in both revenue and total shipments (source: Gartner-Dataquest 2005, Frost & Sullivan, Datamonitor). It has sold over 5.5 billion smart cards.

    Gemplus delivers a wide range of secure, portable, personalized solutions in areas including Identity, Mobile Telecommunications, Public Telephony, Banking, Retail, Transport, Healthcare, WLAN, Pay-TV, e-government, and access control.

    Setec, a Gemplus company acquired in 2005, develops, manufactures and delivers products that require extreme security, such as biometric and visual passports, electronic and visual ID cards, EMV cards and SIM cards. Setec's major customers are public authorities, banks, and telecom operators. The company has operations in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Poland. It employs 400 people.

    Gemplus's revenue in 2004 was EUR865 million.

    (c)2005 Gemplus. All rights reserved. Gemplus, the Gemplus logo, and SafesITe are trademarks and service marks of Gemplus S.A. and are registered in certain countries. All other trademarks and service marks, whether registered or not in specific countries, are the property of their respective owners.

    Some of the statements contained in this release constitute forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or our future financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our or our industry's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activities, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Actual events or results may differ materially. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those estimated by the forward-looking statements contained in this release include, but are not limited to: trends in wireless communication and mobile commerce markets; our ability to develop new technology, and the effects of competing technologies developed and expected intense competition generally in our main markets; profitability of our expansion strategy; challenges to or loss of our intellectual property rights; our ability to establish and maintain strategic relationships in our major businesses; our ability to develop and take advantage of new software and services; and the effect of future acquisitions and investments on our share price. Moreover, neither we nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this release speak only as of this release. We are under no duty to update any of the forward-looking statements after this date to conform such statements to actual results or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated results.

ots Originaltext: Setec and Gemplus SA
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For further information, please contact: Tuula Wäyrynen, Corporate
Communications Manager, +358-(0)9-8941-4532, Jane Strachey, Gemplus Press Relations
Manager, +33-(0)442364661 / +33-(0)676493593,

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