LONDON The body representing GSM cellular operators, GSMA, is readying a preliminary set of minimum requirements for handsets containing Near Field Communications (NFC) chipsets.
Developed by the 45 operators globally supporting the GSMA's Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative, the requirements will help handset manufacturers to develop NFC-enabled phones that are compatible with operators' planned NFC services.
The requirements build on the standardisation work completed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), which has selected the Single Wire Protocol to provide the interface between the Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) recommended by the GSMA as the Secure Element for NFC applications and the NFC chipset embedded in the handset.
The requirements will cover the handset's user-interface, operation in low battery power mode and other aspects of the contactless functionality.
"We are looking for manufacturers to produce a wide range of UICC-based NFC handsets that will support the many contactless applications being developed by mobile operators and their partners around the world," said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer of the GSMA. "We expect mobile operators to begin placing orders for these handsets this year as they prepare to rollout mobile NFC services, some of them in partnership with banks and credit card issuers."
The GSMA will seek feedback from the handset manufacturers and antuicipates that the requirements can be finalised by the third quarter of the year.
Mobile operator Softbank has just launched a trial of UICC-based NFC payment services in Japan bringing the total number of trials under the GSMA's Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative to seven. AT&T, FarEasTone, KTF, Orange, SFR and Turkcell are also running trials and a further seven operators plan to begin trials in the near future.
Separately, the GSMA has reached an agreement with the European Payments Council to fully-define the role of the Trusted Services Manager, which will support banks and mobile operators in the distribution, configuration and activation of the bank's payment application on the UICC in NFC handsets.
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