Analyst’s comment: GSMA announces world’s leading mobile operators will introduce NFC

Monmouth, UK — 21 February 2011: The world’s leading mobile network operators have announced today that they are committed to introducing near field communication (NFC) services in a number of countries around the world from 2012.

Sarah Clark, author of ‘NFC Business Models‘ explains what the announcement means and why the operators have joined together to make the announcement:

“NFC phones are set to revolutionise the way we decide what products to buy, where we choose to buy them and how we choose to pay,” says Sarah.

The new NFC phones contain a high security chip known as a secure element which acts like an electronic version of your wallet and can be used to replace everything from credit cards and loyalty cards to bus and train tickets, library cards, door keys, coupons and even cash.

These chips can be built into mobile phones and other devices by the manufacturer, they can be integrated into SIM cards issued by mobile networks to their subscribers and they can be added to existing phones via special microSD cards or stickers issued by banks and other organisations.

“Whoever provides a consumer with a secure element can then generate new revenues by leasing space on the chip to other businesses that also want to offer next-generation mobile services to their customers,” Sarah explains.

“In the GSMA statement issued today, the mobile operators make it clear that they plan for NFC services to be delivered using the SIM as the secure element, placing operators in control of NFC services — and future revenue streams.”

“The announcement does not necessarily mean, however, that these leading operators have now found an answer to the need for a business model for the launch of commercial NFC services,” she adds. “Rather, this announcement signals the operators’ realisation that they need to work together in order to deliver the same global reach that a rival offering from handset manufacturers and others would provide.”

“Essentially, they are involved in a bid to grab land — and a significant share of revenues — ahead of expected rival proposals from the likes of Google and Apple. The move is likely to prove to be good news for consumers and for businesses such as retailers, transport operators, travel firms, brands and others looking to take advantage of the arrival of NFC services since there will be competing offers on the table and that should lead to lower prices.”

The full announcement from the GSMA is available to view on the association’s website.

About the ‘NFC Business Models’ research report

‘NFC Business Models’ provides companies looking to benefit from the arrival of near field communication technology with the information needed to understand the issues, identify their options and develop a strategy for success. Further information, a full table of contents and online ordering facilities are available at


Mike Clark, publisher at SJB Research
Tel: 01341 760123 (International: +44 1341 760123)

Email: [email protected]

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