Contactless tech on SIMs gets a boost

Summary:A host of mobile network operators around the world have backed a proposal to integrate near-field communications technology inside SIM cards.Forty-five operators from around the world said they will implement near-field communications (NFC) technology embedded into SIM cards in the future, according to an announcement from the GSM Association (GSMA) on Wednesday.

A host of mobile network operators around the world have backed a proposal to integrate near-field communications technology inside SIM cards.

Forty-five operators from around the world said they will implement near-field communications (NFC) technology embedded into SIM cards in the future, according to an announcement from the GSM Association (GSMA) on Wednesday.

"One of the primary factors that will accelerate the proliferation of mobile NFC is the standardisation of the technology, which allows seamless interoperability between NFC devices and enables users to benefit from services around the world, regardless of mobile operator, network or device type," the GSMA said.

In order to encourage use of the technology — which can be used for things like micro payments, access to secure buildings, connecting to NFC-enabled accessories and transferring contacts or media files — the GSMA has published handset and SIM requirements that define common handset APIs to support SIM-based NFC services.

Among the list of operators that have pledged support for SIM-embedded NFC are China Mobile and China Unicom — which have nearly 800 million subscribers between them, according to the GSMA — AT&T, Deutsche Telekom Vodafone, Everything Everywhere, Verizon and Orange.

Some handsets, such as the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Bold 9930, already make use of NFC technology for performing some tasks. RIM said it will soon be launching its BlackBerry Tag feature which uses NFC to share content between handsets.

The Symbian Belle and Android operating systems also support NFC technology for a range of functions. The Belle OS is currently used on the Nokia 600, 700 and 701 — all of which were introduced in August. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform does not yet support NFC.

Topics: Mobility

About

With a psychology degree under his belt, Ben set off on a four-year sojourn as a professional online poker player, but as the draw of the gambling life began to wane his attentions turned to more wholesome employment.With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a s... Full Bio

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.