South Korea: KT Complements NFC Rollout with iPhone Add-ons
KT, South Korea’s second largest mobile operator, is distributing NFC-enabled iPhone attachments nationwide, preloaded with a MasterCard PayPass application issued by large credit card company Shinhan Card. The application is personalized over the air. Users can tap to pay at PayPass terminals in Korea that are also used by full NFC phones and other contactless-mobile handsets. Two other credit card issuers are planning to offer their applications for the iPhone add-on. The iPhone attachment, iCarte from Canada-based Wireless Dynamics, carries a full NFC chip. KT launched full NFC services last fall, but Apple has not yet adopted NFC technology, thus requiring the NFC bridge technology. The attachment hooks into the bottom connector port of the phone. KT plans to sell more than 25,000 of the units, NFC Times has learned.
KT, perhaps the first mobile operator worldwide to commercialize NFC, had an exclusive agreement to distribute the iPhone in South Korea until last March. KT has introduced five full NFC phones, including the NFC version of Samsung’s popular Galaxy S II. Apple is not expected to support full NFC until next year, but KT, with nearly 2 million iPhone users, wanted to give these subscribers the option to use its NFC services.
* Trusted Service Manager: Defined loosely to include companies or other organizations securely distributing, provisioning and managing applications, generally over the air, on secure elements in NFC mobile phones; or licensing their platforms for this purpose.
N/A: Not available or not applicable.
Last update: Sept. 2011