Plans to launch SimPay, the first pan-European mobile phone payment platform, have collapsed following the withdrawal of founding member T-Mobile from the alliance.
The SimPay brand was launched by T-Mobile, Orange, Telefónica Móviles and Vodafone in June 2003 with the overall objective of creating an open and interoperable framework for mobile payments in Europe.
The group completed development of the technical specifications for its first mobile payments product - which was expected to focus on low value payments under ten euros - in April 2004 and enlisted Encorus Technologies to provide payment processing services.
The m-payments scheme was expected to launch in Spain and Belgium this year but has been ditched following the withdrawal of Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Mobile. It was rumoured that the operator had concerns about the way the system was integrated with handsets and other payment systems.
A statement on the SimPay Web site says following the withdrawal of a founder member, a decision was made "not to pursue its activity on a pan-European scale as originally planned".
SimPay says member operators will be able to exploit its intellectual property rights at a national level, and international interoperability still remains a goal but operations "will be scaled back with immediate effect".