Feeds

Nokia and O2 get on the tube

Wireless payments come to London's tube

The essential guide to IT transformation

O2, Nokia and Transport for London are to trial Near Field Communications (NFC) handsets to host Oyster cards - so you'll be able pay for your tube journey using your mobile.

The trial will be announced tomorrow morning but will likely centre around the Nokia 6131-NFC handset, as that's the only model with the technology currently built in.

Oyster is based on Phillips' MiFare technology, otherwise known as ISO14443 Type A, which these days is a subset of NFC. So the Nokia handsets should already be compatible with the Oyster readers on the ticket gates.

Far more complicated than the wireless part is the logistics of managing tickets within the phone interface, and the security of the system. The Nokia 6131-NFC has a secure memory module within the handset, where the ticket information is stored, but many in the industry would like to see the SIM utilised for that kind of data: putting the ownership into the hands of the network operator rather than the phone manufacturer.

Japan, where the Felica system has been providing much the same functionality for some years, has the advantage of having one company, DoCoMo, in charge of the whole value chain, which simplifies things considerably.

O2 is involved in the announcement tomorrow - in fact it is hosting it, so it's possible it has had some input here. More likely, though, it is going to run the back-end to enable users to top up their Oyster credit over the air.

The scale of the trial and deployment schedule won't be revealed until the morning, but it could be a significant boost for NFC if the companies involved can generate enough publicity for customers to start asking for the capability in their phones. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.