Light Reading
The mobile operators are one step ahead on contactless payments – for now. As with app stores, others are hot on their trail

CTIA 2011: Operators Avoid App Syndrome With NFC

Sarah Reedy
LR Mobile News Analysis
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor
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
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Introducing 'The New IP'
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 9/11/2014
Glimpsing the Self-Driving Car
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T to Launch WiFi Calling in 2015
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed