March 24 , 2011

World's leading mobile operators announce commitment to NFC technology

LONDON--Many of the world's leading operators, including 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, 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 Franco Bernabè, Chairman, GSMA and CEO, Telecom Italia. "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."

The market potential for NFC is significant – according to Frost & Sullivan, the total payment value for NFC globally will reach more than €110 billion in 2015 – and momentum behind the technology is growing rapidly. To address this opportunity and to provide valuable new services to mobile users worldwide, the operator community is focused on driving the standardised deployment of mobile NFC, using the SIM as the secure element to provide authentication, security and portability.

To achieve this, the GSMA will develop the necessary certification and testing standards to ensure global interoperability of NFC services. This interoperability is critical to the widespread adoption of NFC, enabling users to benefit from NFC services around the world, regardless of operator network or device type.

"As we have seen, the adoption of different approaches to NFC will only serve to fragment the market," continued Bernabè. "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 represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry.

 

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