SIMalliance forms NFC working group

SIMalliance forms NFC working group

SIM card industry association, SIMalliance, has formed a near field communications (NFC) working group to promote its role in contactless mobile phone payments.

The group, comprising major manufacturers such as Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Incard and Oberthur Technologies, aims to strengthen the role of the SIM in the NFC ecosystem.

It will work with mobile operators, handset manufacturers and other players such as banks, transport companies and retailers in a bid to create a dedicated community to support and promote the use of SIMs for NFC.

One group it will approach is the GSMA - an international trade group of mobile operators - which earlier this week called for full NFC functionality to be built into handsets from mid-2009.

To drive this, the GSMA says it is backing the European Telecommunications Standards Institute's 'Single Wire Protocol' to standardise the interface between SIM cards and embedded NFC chips within handsets.

Pawel Chrobok, chairman, SIMalliance NFC working group, says: "We must promote SIM-based NFC and its ability to increase average revenue per user for mobile operators. To do so, we must clarify the stakeholders, and the vital role of the mobile operator, within the NFC community. We must also play a key role in bringing the ecosystem together, to develop important commercial and technical agreements between service providers and this community."

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