Feeds

Nokia pulls the plug on wireless payment handset

While China Unicom builds new ones

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Nokia has scrapped its third NFC handset, the 6216, which never got launched despite being scheduled for last year and despite China Unicom's plans for an NFC launch.

The 6216 would have been Nokia's third NFC handset, but the first to have handed control of the payment system to the operator's SIM through the Single Wire Protocol (SWP): exactly the architecture that China Unicom will be deploying in the next six months, as NFC World reports.

"We felt the quality of the consumer experience was not what it needed to be," Nokia told NFC World when asked about the cancellation of the 6216, before confirming that the company was still committed to the idea, just not the architecture that gives operators control.

Near Field Communications (NFC) is a system that allows a phone handset to be used as a proximity-payment system, waved near a reader for small-value transactions such as public transport for example. Those compliant with the NFC Forum's specification can operate through induced power (so work on a battery-dead phone) and are compatible with existing ticketing systems such as London's Oyster card.

But wireless communications are only half the story - such a system also needs a safe place to store the current balance and the various certificates necessary to secure the system. The obvious place for that is inside the SIM, and operators lobbied hard for the SWP standard which would connect a SIM-based NFC system to the outside world, but despite being a standard for more than two years SWP-compatible handsets still don't exist in significant numbers.

Companies like Nokia would much rather see the secure module embedded in the phone, tying the user to the handset rather than the SIM, and operators haven't provided any discouragement.

So the 6216 would have been a significant handset, if it had been launched, which Nokia has now admitted won't happen.

Which is a shame as China Unicom has announced it will be launching an NFC-Forum-compatible service, based on SWP, later this year. That's going to have to compete with China Mobile's, incompatible, RF SIM system, but as China's second network operator Unicom still has more than 125 million subscribers - enough, one might think, to make Nokia think again about the 6216. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.