Feeds

The beginner's guide to near field communications

Wave me the money

The Power of One Infographic

SIM with tail

Those operators are keen to ensure that NFC applications are installed, and managed, on the Sim card, even if that card has to have a tail attached. The N-Mark standard defines a secure element, but makes no mention of where that secure element should be - in the Sim, embedded in the phone or some other removable media.

N-Mark approved Sim Card with tail

Removable media

Banks, particularly those in the US, seem keen on using removable SD cards, which they can post out to users along with a credit card, but the banks have little interest in multi-application architectures.

Handset manufacturers would like the secure element to be in the phone, where they can control it, while network operators would like to put it in the Sim so the user can easily change handsets, but to do that they have to convince the manufacturers to implement the Single Wire Protocol (SWP) which allows the Sim to communicate with the NFC radio in the handset.

Google's Nexus S, for example, has an embedded secure element under the control of Google, but also support the SWP should operators deploy suitable Sims.

However, applications currently have no way of communicating with either secure element, that's planned for a software upgrade once the business plan has been defined.

Google hotspot logo

Google HotPot

That's not to say that proximity systems can't work, After all, the Japanese FeliCa system has been providing comparable functionality since 2005, complete with support for multiple applications and secure payments.

The success of FeliCa may be attributed to Japan's cash-based culture, or reliance on mass transit, but the fact that DoCoMo owns every part of the value chain - technology provider, patent holder, transaction processor and bank - ensures that if there's money to be made anywhere they will make it. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
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.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.