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Mobile operators agree global standard for NFC on the SIM

16 November 2011  |  10437 views  |  0 D600 mobile

Forty-five of the world's leading mobile operators have committed to support and implement SIM-based Near Field Communications (NFC) services using an interoperable set of standards devised by the GSMA.

The GSMA says the handset and SIM specifications will enable the development and global deployment of "secure, interoperable and ubiquitous" SIM-based mobile NFC services.

Importantly, the initiative has won the support of China Mobile and China Unicom, which account for nearly 800 million connections throughout China. Additionally, Isis, the organisation formed by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless to build a nationwide mobile commerce network in the United States, is also backing SIM-based NFC.

Franco Bernabè, chairman of the GSMA, and CEO and chairman of Telecom Italia comments: "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."

The market potential for SIM-based NFC is significant, according to forecasts from industry research firm Strategy Analytics. 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. Further, ABI Research indicates that 85% of all new point of sale terminals shipped in 2016 will be NFC-enabled.

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