Orange and China Mobile have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which the two telecoms giants hopes that will accelerate the commercialization of mobile contactless services – Near Field Communication (NFC) – by integrating standardized technical protocols based on the SIM card into their respective services.
NFC services facilitate transactions by allowing users to purchases goods and services simply by swiping their phone over an electronic reader. By adopting internationally recognized standards for embedding the secure technical protocols directly into the SIM-card, the two operators will participate in the development of a market in which users can access NFC services regardless of their device or operator.
NFC services are expected to become a major growth driver for the telecoms industry in the coming years. Orange and China Mobile share a common belief that, for such services to take-off on a global scale, the industry needs to work together in order to adopt a common set of standards that operate within a fully-interoperable business platform.
The two companies have agreed to work together on these themes with a view to ensuring:
- the large-scale adoption of SIM-based NFC services and the availability of compatible devices in an open and transparent way,
- the interoperability of such services in a way that will facilitate the emergence of a wide range of applications, and
- the development of standardised solutions that will provide consistency across eco-systems, regardless of the mobile network operator or third-party involved in providing the service, and regardless of the device used.
“In order to encourage the wide-spread take-up of NFC services, the industry as a whole needs to find ways to offer NFC services that are simple, transparent and secure,” said Thierry Millet, Orange’s Vice President of Mobile Payment and Contactless solutions. “By working together with China Mobile, we hope to show that the development of a SIM-card based approach using recognized standards will be a key factor in winning over consumer confidence as NFC services become more and more prevalent over the coming years.”
“Many major mobile network operators including China Mobile promised to adopt SIM-based NFC standards and promote the launch of new products,” said Shen Hongqun, Vice President of the Data Service Department of China Mobile headquarters. “By signing this MoU between China Mobile and Orange, the two MNOs can coöperate in the fields of service model design, marketing strategy, product standards for mobile payment, the promotion of NFC services and handsets based on SWP-SIM1 and to develop a harmonized ecosystem based on standard solutions.”
Through this partnership between two major players from Europe and Asia, Orange and China Mobile will contribute to the industry-wide effort coördinated by GSMA to draw up a global vision to facilitate the development of an open SIM-based NFC market over the coming years.