Japan’s rollout of phones and tablets supporting standard NFC technology has topped the 20 million mark, with Japan’s three major mobile operators deploying the handsets with NFC chips along with domestic FeliCa technology. But Japanese consumers still have few places to use the hybrid devices.
Japan’s three major mobile operators had sold nearly 14 million standard NFC-enabled smartphones and tablets as of January, according to the Mobile NFC Association, as the country continues to be among the leaders in rolling out NFC-enabled phones and SIMs. There are still few places to use the NFC devices in Japan, however.
Japan’s largest telco, NTT DoCoMo, has begun to make a key piece of its strategy for NFC known, announcing deals with MasterCard Worldwide and South Korea’s KT Corp. to enable subscribers to make payments when they roam in other countries.
Japan Airlines next month is expected to launch what is believed to be the first commercial service worldwide enabling passengers to tap standard NFC phones to pass through boarding gates, NFC Times has learned.
While he announced that U.S. mobile operator Sprint will introduce more than 10 additional NFC phones supporting the Google Wallet this year, Osama Bedier, who heads the wallet program at Google, revealed few other details about how the Web giant plans to boost the wallet’s market presence.
BARCELONA – Two more chip makers, Samsung Electronics and NXP Semiconductors, are planning to introduce NFC chips that support Japan’s large infrastructure of contactless readers based on FeliCa technology.
Japan’s second largest mobile operator, KDDI, said it would launch Japan’s first mobile NFC service late this month with the Samsung Galaxy S II–though the service will start out small because of the lack of phones that support both standard NFC and Japan's proprietary FeliCa technology, as well as Japan's nearly nonexistent infrastructure of standard contactless readers.
Japan’s three major mobile operators, NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank Mobile, announced today they have formed the Japan NFC Consortium to help them set standards for making the move to NFC from proprietary FeliCa technology.
NFC Times Exclusive – Samsung’s NFC payments platform, Samsung Pay, is due to launch in the summer in the U.S. and South Korea. But it’s not the only payments service planned for Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S6.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Australia’s AMP Bank said it chose to launch mobile-payments with host-card emulation over other NFC technologies because of the “wider reach” the technology offers, since it’s “available to all NFC-enabled Android mobile phones running KitKat or later,” the bank’s director digital, Michael Weeding, told NFC Times.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – New Zealand joint venture Semble has launched its SIM-based NFC mobile wallet, after delays and the decision by of two of the country’s big four banks to launch mobile payments from their own apps using host-card emulation.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Another major New Zealand bank has announced plans to launch NFC payments with host-card emulation, snubbing a joint venture set up to launch SIM-based NFC on the island nation.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Windows 10 for phones, set to be released later this year, will support host card emulation, or HCE, based NFC payments, Microsoft revealed at a recent Windows event in China.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight –Germany-based Giesecke & Devrient confirmed it is providing the host-card emulation technology for Commonwealth Bank’s commercial HCE launch this month of Tap & Pay from the bank’s Android-based mobile-banking app.
Identiv CEO Jason Hart sounded optimistic tones about the company’s NFC tag business, particularly in “Internet of Things” applications or tags for consumer goods, during a conference call last week to discuss Identiv’s fourth quarter and full year 2014 earnings, but investors responded with less optimism.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – France-based Gemalto, which is keen to take the spotlight off its SIM business, projects EMV cards to represent perhaps the largest expected source of revenue growth in the coming year.