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
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Merger May Hinge on Hulu
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
Google Ready to Release Thousands of Loons
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/20/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment