GSMA Mobile Network Operators commit to supporting NFC
Posted by Seth PlanckNovember 16th, 2011 at 5:12 PM Filed Under Latest News
GSMA Mobile Network Operators commit to supporting NFC on their networks
The GSMA are reporting that 45 Mobile Network Operators around the world have committed to supporting NFC. This comes on the back of the GSMA publishing mobile NFC specifications to drive interoperability. Both China Mobile and China Unicom have joined the growing list of MNOs that have agreed to support SIM based NFC solutions. Those two MNOs alone account for a whopping 800 million subscribers who will be able to use NFC secure services using a single-wire protocol solution. We are not sure that SIM based NFC is the best, but with over 45 MNOs globally supporting Near Field Communication, it is a step in the right direction for adoption.
“China Mobile is able to offer SIM-based NFC on an extremely large scale and we have the experience, the technical infrastructure and trusted customer care network to support and effectively stimulate the market,” said Sha Yuejia, Executive Director and Vice President of China Mobile.
“China Unicom is known for its innovation and we strongly support SIM-based NFC technology that can ensure contactless services are available to our consumers, and will be interoperable and roam effectively wherever the consumer chooses to go,” said Lu Yimin, President and Vice Chairman of China Unicom.
The list of GSMA member MNOs that intend to support NFC based SIM solutions continues to grow
If anyone is still an NFC denier and doesn’t believe NFC will take off, here is the list of MNOs that will support SIM based NFC solutions:
Outside of China Mobile and China Unicom, the mobile network operators who have committed to SIM-based NFC include: América Móvil, AT&T, AVEA, Axiata, AXIS, Bharti Airtel, Bouygues Telecom, CSL, Deutsche Telekom, Elisa Corporation, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (du), Etisalat, Everything Everywhere, Globe Telecom, KPN, KT Corporation, Maxis, Mobily, MTS, Orange, Proximus, Qtel Group, Rogers Communications, Saudi Telecom Company (STC), SFR, SK Telecom, Smart, SOFTBANK MOBILE, Telecom Italia, Telecom New Zealand, Telecom Slovenije, Telefónica, Telekom Austria Group, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Telus, TMN, Turkcell, Verizon, VimpelCom, VIVA Bahrain and Vodafone Group.
ISIS, the NFC joint venture formed by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, who are planning a monopoly in the States, also plan to support SIM-based NFC. Interestingly, Sprint has committed to supporting NFC, the Overland Park firm have supported embedded NFC ICs and secure elements, which we ultimately feel is the future after the mass MNO grappling for power ends.
“Clearly the momentum behind SIM-based NFC is growing rapidly, particularly with leading operators China Mobile and China Unicom supporting NFC services secured by the SIM card,” said Franco Bernabè, Chairman of the GSMA and CEO and Chairman of Telecom Italia Group. “NFC is an important innovation for consumers around the world, and while it is perhaps best known for enabling secure mobile payments, it will also enable a wide range of innovative and exciting new services and applications, such as mobile ticketing, entertainment services, secure access to hotels or cars, loyalty schemes and couponing, among others.”
Industry research firm, Strategy Analytics, has reported that nearly 1.5 billion SIM-based handsets will have been sold worldwide between 2010 and 2016, supporting transactions of more than $50 billion globally over the same period. Furthermore, ABI Research indicates that 85% of all new point of sale terminals shipped in 2016 will be NFC-enabled. Many industry pundits have called 2012 the year of NFC, and with more and more MNOs committing to supporting the technology, ubiquity is now becoming a foregone conclusion.
GSMA wants all MNOs to commit to one standard to ensure a set of standards are the same all over the world for NFC services
“With the increasing deployment of commercial SIM-based NFC services in a range of markets worldwide, it is critical to embrace common standards that will promote the global interoperability of services and accelerate time-to-market,” commented Anne Bouverot, Director General at GSMA. “Mobile operators, working together, are ideally positioned to roll out services based on the requirements published by the GSMA, providing proven security and interoperability, global reach and customer care for consumers and businesses and a secure platform for service providers.”
The GSMA has published handset and SIM requirements which define common handset application programming interfaces (APIs) to support SIM-based NFC services. This makes perfect sense so that NFC in China is the same as NFC in the States. So, if you travel you can still pay for goods and services or swap contact details. It also means that because the NFC SIMs will be prevalent around the world, the costs will come down for MNOs. If MNOs also support embedded secure elements and NFC ICs this move by the GSMA is a win for consumers and MNOs.