HomeInsightsGSMA to lead on NFC interoperability - protect operators' position

    GSMA to lead on NFC interoperability – protect operators’ position


    The GSMA has said it will take a leading role in developing “the necessary certification and testing standards to ensure global interoperability of NFC services”. The GMSA said that interoperabilty of NFC is critical to ensure the widespread adoption of NFC, so that services will work regardless of device or network type.

    “As we have seen, the adoption of different approaches to NFC will only serve to fragment the market,” said Franco Bernabè, Chairman, GSMA and CEO, Telecom Italia. “By uniting around a single standardised approach to mobile NFC and by collaborating across the entire ecosystem, our industry will continue to develop the compelling services that customers demand.”

    The GSMA’s aim, on behalf of its operator members, is to try to make sure that deployments of mobile NFC use the SIM as the secure element to provide authentication, security and portability.

    This is far from the first time the GSMA has pushed for a standardised approach to NFC. In November 2008, the organisation was calling for NFC-enabled handsets, using the secure SIM, by mid-2009. This time around the organisation has enhanced that push by producing a list of operators who will commit to the launch.

    The operators include América Móvil, Axiata Group Berhad, Bharti, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT Corporation, MTS, Orange, Qtel Group, SK Telecom, SOFTBANK MOBILE, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telekom Austria Group, Telenor and Vodafone. A statement said the operators have “voiced their commitment” to implementing Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, and intend to launch commercial NFC services in select markets by 2012.

    “NFC is perhaps best known for its role in enabling mobile payments, but its applications go far beyond that,” said Bernabè. “NFC represents an important innovation opportunity, and will facilitate a wide range of interesting services and applications for consumers, such as mobile ticketing, mobile couponing, the exchange of information and content, control access to cars, homes, hotels, offices car parks and much more.”