Light Reading

CTIA 2011: Operators Avoid App Syndrome With NFC

Sarah Thomas
3/21/2011
50%
50%

ORLANDO, Fla. -- International CTIA WIRELESS 2011 -- Picture this: Wireless operators, who used to own the applications experience, become disintermediated, and ultimately surpassed, by software giants like Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). Operators are left struggling to find a way back in.

That's the scenario operators hope to avoid with mobile commerce and, more specifically, near field communications (NFC), according to Dave Talach, vice president of global product marketing at VeriFone Holdings Inc.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US Inc. teamed up in November to form Isis, a joint venture with Barclays and Discover aimed at promoting NFC, which enables transactions over short-range wireless links. Talach says this is the catalyst that kicked off the contactless payments market this year. (See US Carriers Combine Mobile Wallets and Google, Apple Fight Carriers for Mobile Money.)

"They broke the whole chicken-and-egg cycle," he said at a CTIA interview.

VeriFone has been providing retailers with secure electronic payments for more than 10 years, but now it's partnering up with new players including wireless operators and the competitors they're looking to outpace. VeriFone is reportedly working with both Isis and Google on NFC trials. Talach wouldn't confirm either partnership, but hinted at the deals by repeating, "It's safe to assume we're engaged with most major NFC initiatives."

Of course, Talach thinks there is room for several forms of NFC to coexist. But, while he gives the wireless operators a lot of credit for being first movers, there are many followers creeping up fast, including potentially Apple. The challenge for the operators will be to keep the momentum up.

"The carriers are creating structure, but don't rule out an Apple App Store or Android Market phenomenon," Talach said. "To see how NFC will unravel, look at app stores. We need structure from Isis, but we also need more choices."

In this new and competitive market, there are still some topics up for debate and plenty of dissension, something both VeriFone and BlackBerry have experienced lately. (See OS Watch: RIM Battles Carriers for Mobile Money.)

The debates have centered around security and whether the NFC technology should reside in the SIM card or in the phone itself. The answer to this dictates who gets control of the subscriber relationship -- the wireless operator or handset maker/OS vendor. Talach said the market could end up with a neutral secure element in which it doesn’t matter if contactless payments are carried out in the phone or SIM card, or a dual-secure element in which the operators and handset makers share ownership. Either way, there will be more issues around transaction fees and the subscriber relationship to grapple with.

"The battle is not resolved," Talach said. "It will be in flux a lot."

Talach also echoed a sentiment that many have expressed in Monday's Money Over Mobile partner conference at CTIA -- that it's not the payments that make NFC so exciting. It's more about doing payments plus something else, such as receiving a coupon, getting a digital receipt, automatically checking into Foursquare or racking up loyalty points. The first step is getting NFC off the ground, but then it will only get more interesting, Tallach said.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (7) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones