Asian telecom operators Chunghwa Telecom (Taiwan), HKT (Hong Kong), KDDI (Japan), and SK Planet (South Korea) are jointly announcing the formation of the Asia Near Field Communications Alliance, with the support of the GSMA, today at MWC 2014. The Alliance aims to extend existing NFC services beyond national borders to further accelerate the adoption of convenient and compatible NFC services worldwide.
“Formation of this Alliance aims to expand the service coverage of individual telecom operators in creating a seamless experience for the consumers while travelling across national borders. As of today, Alliance members include the major telecom operators from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Our near-term goal is to promote common standards and a technology development platform for new applications, beginning with the domestic markets of our members. In the long term, we hope to expand this NFC Alliance into a global organization to create convenient services across borders worldwide,” said Lin, Kuo-Feng, Chairman of Asia NFC Alliance.
“The GSMA is delighted to support the Asia NFC Alliance, as it endeavors to accelerate the deployment of NFC services in Asia. Cross operator interoperability, and common platforms to easily develop and deploy services are key enablers to attract service providers and grow the NFC ecosystem. By working together with the Asia NFC Alliance, we hope to lay down a solid foundation for subscribers to experience a wealth of top quality NFC services across Asia – and to build best practice for other regions,” said Pierre Combelles, Business Lead, Digital Commerce, GSMA.
Convenient mobile NFC services are already being offered for a variety of applications in several countries independently, presenting travel information, online booking of tickets and hotels, coupon download, mobile payment and more. However, these NFC services are currently limited to mobile operators within their home markets. There has, however, recently been a joint cooperation between KDDI and CHT offering a smart poster service in tourist shopping areas, and NFC coupons from KDDI and SK Planet.
The Asia NFC Alliance wishes to expand the service coverage of these mobile operators from within a single country to the whole Asian region, and furthermore to provide global mobile NFC services across industries, including transportation, retail, finance, and tourism etc. Subscribers will be able to access convenient and compatible NFC applications across national borders to enjoy a mobile lifestyle on their NFC-enabled handsets, whether in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea or other countries in the future.
The Asia NFC Alliance has proposed three-stage development goals: to develop international compatibility of NFC technology; to serve as an information platform for NFC development; and finally, to attract more members from the industry, to fulfil the ultimate goal of collaboration in providing a border-less mobile NFC service across industries.