GSM Association Banks On RFID Technology To Boost Handsets

The GSM association which represents the mobile industry, is pushing hard to get Near Field Communication (NFC) features added to mobile phones as early as mid-2009, including the Single Wire Protocol NFC interface.

At an event, held in Macau, China, the association called for the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) backed Single Wire Protocol standard (SWP) to be implemented as quickly as possible.

NFC technology is already widespread across UK and is used as the gatekeeper for London Underground's transport system.

The Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative, as it is known, is being held back by the lack of NFC-capable phones but already, according to, trials are being run in 8 countries with 9 mobile operators with a similar number planning more pilots across the globe.

O2 had a successful six-month trial which saw 500 Londoners use a NFC capable Nokia 6131 mobile phone that was used both as an electronic wallet and an Oyster card.

A report by Juniper Research says that up to 700 million NFC enabled mobile phones will be sold by 2013, representing up to 25 percent of the market by then.

In related news, the GSM association is also in talks with ENUM, an E.164 telephone Number Mapping protocol, to bring IP addresses to phone numbers using a service called Patfhfinder.

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