GSMA calls for more NFC-enabled handsets

The GSMA, the global trade group for the mobile industry, is calling for full NFC functionality to be built-in to commercially available mobile handsets from mid-2009.

The group, backed by industry partners who have carried out successful "Pay-Buy-Mobile" trials, suggests that the only thing holding back NFC rolling out more widely is lack of decent phones.

In July the GSMA issued a detailed Device Requirement document to vendors and suppliers in the Pay-Buy-Mobile ecosystem but are yet waiting for an influx of NFC-enabled handsets to hit the market.

Mung-Ki Woo, VP of payment and contactless at Orange, says: "Orange has run trials in France, Spain and the UK which show a consistent appeal to consumers in all countries for SIM-based, operator managed, mobile NFC services. For Orange, mass deployment is now mainly dependent on handset manufacturers providing a large range of adequate handsets".

This sentiment is echoed by AT&T's Kris Rinne, senior VP, architecture and planning, who says: "We hope that the GSMA's delivery of a consolidated set of minimum requirements will accelerate the worldwide delivery of NFC-enabled handsets to the market".

In addition, Turkcell exec, Cenk Serdar states: "We believe that the customers may gradually adapt our services once the supporting handsets are on the market".