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NFC phone sends all the right messages

May 05, 2009 //

Mobile phone maker Nokia claimed it has changed the prospects for NFC in the mobile sector with the announcement that it will start shipping in the third quarter, in selected markets, its first SIM-based NFC-capable handset the 6216 Classic.


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LONDON Mobile phone maker Nokia claimed it has changed the prospects for NFC in the mobile sector with the announcement that it will start shipping in the third quarter, in selected markets, its first SIM-based NFC-capable handset * the 6216 Classic.

The fully integrated handset will allow operators to build NFC services on to the SIM card, which in turn will allow micro-payments and ticketing where supporting infrastructure is present.

In his keynote at the third annual Global NFC Developers Summit, Jeremy Belostock, head of NFC at Nokia, announced to a cheering audience that "this will be the last NFC device to be made by Nokia."

After the talk, he told EE Times that Nokia has listened to the stakeholders and that it is now "up to the SIM community and operators to push the technology even faster and further."

"The Nokia 6216 Classic will be amongst the first commercial devices in the market complying with operator requirements using the SIM card in connection to secure transactions with NFC," said Belostock. "Having the applications on the SIM consumers can bring their secure applications to their next Nokia NFC-enabled phone," he added.

The enhanced Series-40 platform phone uses the recently endorsed Single Wire Protocol (SWP) to communicate with the SIM card, with all security elements within the SIM.

Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer of the GSM Association, welcomed Nokia's move, suggesting the SIM-based NFC handset is "a great step forward for payment and ticketing services. We believe this will drive more rapid deployment of the technology and expect this to signal the launch of NFC services in the market by operators."

The GSMA has been pushing hard for phone makers to integrate the NFC capability into the SIM card of the handset so that operators can feel more assured about interoperability and a business case for the technology. Asked whether Nokia will now make NFC a default feature in its handsets, Belostock said: "We had several other devices planned in which we planned to incorporate NFC chips and technology, but saw limited demand for NFC-enabled phones. We also worked hard with SIM card makers and chip manufacturers, and we feel this is the best way to get this sector moving. We now anticipate a challenge and a move from our major competitors in this area."

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