Japan: Softbank Mobile Plans Trial with Flex-SIM Device in Android Phone

 

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Chiba Japan
Scope: 
Trial
Status: 
Planned
Launch: 
Jan 2011
Main Application: 
Payment
Mobile Operator: 
Softbank Mobile
Service Provider (application): 
Orico (MasterCard PayPass)
Service Provider (application): 
Credit Saison (MasterCard PayPass)
Merchants: 
300 to 400 PayPass terminals
Users: 
N/A
NFC Handsets: 
N/A
TSM*: 
Gemalto (reported)
Secure Element: 
SIM
Other Vendors: 
MasterCard Worldwide (PayPass), Gemalto (N-Flex), STMicroelectronics (NFC chip in N-Flex), Kyodo Printing (payment application personalization), Trusted Logic (protocol stack in HTC Android phone, reported)

The trial will use a device with a flexible contactless antenna linked to the SIM card that sits on top of the phone battery. It would give NFC functionality to the smartphones planned for the trial. The phone model, reported to be the Android-based HTC Desire, is not a full NFC phone itself. With the flex-antenna device, N-Flex from Gemalto, users will be able to tap to pay at the small number of PayPass terminals available in Japan, mainly in a shopping center near Tokyo, in Chiba and also Kanagawa. The PayPass applications will be downloaded and stored on SIM cards, which are linked to the NFC chip and flexible antenna in the handset via a SIM overlay.

NFC Times Take: 

Softbank, like No. 2 Japanese mobile operator KDDI, are keen to move to NFC to remove themselves from the yoke of Japan’s proprietary contactless wallet-phone technology controlled by Japan’s dominant telco DoCoMo and Sony Corp. It would be the first trial of a SIM and flexible-antenna device containing an NFC chip held in Japan. Softbank and KDDI have held other trials with NFC phones or phone prototypes using MasterCard’s PayPass application–though the trials involved only a small number of merchants. PayPass only supports standard contactless technology. 

 

 

 

* 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: Dec. 2010

 

 

 

 

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