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Taiwan to host first SIM-based NFC trial in Asia

Posted: 09 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NFC? Taiwan telecom? Gemalto trial partners?

Digital security specialist Gemalto has announced a partnership with Taiwan's Far EasTone Telecommunications Ltd to start Asia's first mobile contactless SIM-based NFC trial.

The trial, which will start in November and roll out in phases, is part of the GSM Association's "Pay-Buy Mobile" initiative that seeks to define a common global approach to using NFC technology to link mobile devices with payment and contactless systems. Taiwan is considered the best place to start the trial because of its fast-paced adoption of contactless payment services and appetite for new technologies.

Far EasTone subscribers participating in the trial will be able to make mobile contactless purchases at any Far EasTone trial partner merchant, with the same convenience as when they use an ordinary contactless payment card.

"This trial marks a milestone in mobile contactless history and is also a key advancement in services for Taiwan," said Tan Teck Lee, president of Gemalto Asia. "We are proud to be part of this exciting development with Far EasTone as it sets the stage for the growing popularity of mobile contactless and service provisioning applications."

Jan Nilsson, president of Far EasTone, commented, "This launch will mark an advancement of Taiwan's mobile market where we combine convenience with security. For us, the mobile has become a hub for advanced subscriber services and is the platform of choice to provide subscribers with a new lifestyle. Taiwan is the perfect place to start."

2008 rollout
Consecutive trial phases, leading to commercial rollout in 2008, will gradually introduce a broader variety of different merchants, partners and services including Taiwan's largest convenience store chain 7-Eleven, department store Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, vending machines from HeySong and rail transport operated by Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp.

The SIM is one of the natural choices available to host this type of service, as it is a portable and secure platform for payment applications. Far EasTone is able to maintain a direct link with subscribers by using it as a hub for advanced subscriber services. For subscribers, the portability prevents service disruption when changing phones.

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