Monday, November 17, 2008

GSMA Calls for Pay-Buy-Mobile NFC Handsets by mid-2009

The GSMA has issued an industry call for full NFC functionality - including the standardized 'Single Wire Protocol' interface - to be built into commercially available mobile handsets from mid-2009.

The GSMA's Board - meeting this week in Macau, China - said it fully supports the need for the ETSI-endorsed "Single Wire Protocol" standard to provide the interface between the Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC, or SIM card) and the embedded NFC chipset within the handset.

The NFC chip can communicate with existing contactless readers to deliver a wide range of secure, interoperable and transparent services, such as credit and debit payments. A series of operator trials - under the GSMA's 'Pay-Buy-Mobile' initiative - have been held in several countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Turkey and USA.

Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA, said, "There is no doubt that there is a huge latent demand for a large variety of mobile transaction services, of which there is universal interest in proximity payments, as trials across the world have already shown. We are committed to ensuring that mobile payment services are delivered as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. But this will require device manufacturers to make sure that the vast majority of commercially available handsets incorporate the Single Wire Protocol and Near Field Communications features as standard."

"Doing so would enable the industry to leverage significant economies of scale, and ensure greater accessibility of NFC services for mobile users, added Conway."

  • In July the GSMA, on behalf of operators, issued a detailed Device Requirement** document to a wide range of vendors and suppliers in the 'Pay-Buy-Mobile' ecosystem. 37 key players responded, giving a clear picture of the core requirements for any SWP/NFC device.

See also