The GSMA vision for NFC services:

  • Highly-secure
  • Affordable and available to all
  • Will work anywhere
  • Simple to use
  • Highly-reliable
  • Independent of handset and operating system and mobile network operator

The GSMA’s NFC programme

The GSMA’s NFC programme is designed to stimulate the global commercial deployment of UICC-based NFC services, which have the potential to generate significant value for mobile operators’ customers.  The GSMA is working with mobile operators in markets across the world to build the inter-industry ecosystems needed to roll out compelling NFC-based services. The GSMA is also highlighting the socio-economic benefits of SIM-based NFC services to governments and regulators, as well as promoting the technology to relevant stakeholders across the world.

To enable seamless interoperability between NFC devices, regardless of manufacturer, operating system, mobile operator and network, the GSMA has published handset and SIM requirements which define common handset application programming interfaces (APIs) to support SIM-based NFC services.  Standardised requirements will drive economies of scale in SIM, handsets and infrastructure by creating a common framework for implementation and product interoperability. The handset and SIM requirement documents can be found here.

The ecosystem

As of January 2014, more than 100 SIM-based NFC launches, of which nearly 50 operate as commercial services, have been rolled out globally. The operators who have committed to SIM-based NFC include KT, SK Telecom, Isis, Orange, China Mobile and Telefonica.

Handset and point of sale terminal manufacturers are also increasingly supporting NFC. Leading device manufacturers, such as Samsung, LG, HTC and Nokia, have rolled out a broad range of NFC handsets and tablets that support the SIM-based approach advocated by the GSMA. As of January 2014, there are more than 200 SIM-based NFC-enabled devices available worldwide. Overall, more than 1.1 billion SIM-based NFC devices will be sold worldwide between 2010 and 2016, supporting transactions of more than $50 billion globally over the same period, according to forecasts from industry research firm Strategy Analytics. Further, ABI Research predicts that 85 per cent of all new point of sale terminals shipped in 2016 will be NFC-enabled.

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