Wow, I'm surprised at the number of CTIA Wireless attendees who were interested in knowing more about two-dimensional (2-D) barcodes, QR Codes and near field communications, and the increase in manufacturers willing to talk about the technologies.
Joe Mendoza, director of marketing at SIM card maker Gemalto, says two near field communications trials could transition into full launches in the United States by 2009.
Monday night at Showstoppers in Las Vegas where CTIA gets underway in the morning, Mendoza provided updates on NFC technology deployments around the globe.
Aside from making the SIM cards, Gemalto plans to provide secure "over the air activation and lifecycle management" for cashless transactions from mobile phones. The company is participating in the first pay-by-mobile commercial deployment with Taiwan Mobile, along with a trial with four mobile operators and six banks in Europe.
So what's holding up deployments in the United States? Banks and carriers have been hashing out the business model, negotiating for the deal. For example, the carriers would like to rent space on the SIM card to the banks," Mendoza says. "In addition to renting space, some would like a piece of the transaction, and the banks are baulking at that. Until it's resolved, we're at a stalemate."
The technology has been agreed on. Recently, standards were put in place, including single-wire protocol and controller interface, giving handset makers like Nokia and Samsung guidelines to follow for making cellular phones with NFC chips inside.