Feeds

Three complains to Brussels over NFC exclusion

We want in to the bonk-n-bleep alliance

New hybrid storage solutions

The UK's smallest operator, Three, has launched a preemptive strike against the NFC gang of three which was announced in June, claiming its exclusion is competitively motivated.

The alleged cartel, which still lacks a name, is jointly owned by Everything Everywhere, Telefonica UK and Vodafone, and is intended to create a standard platform for the delivery of NFC-based advertising. The joint venture hasn't applied for regulatory approval yet, though it will have to soon, so Three's representation to the European Commission preempts that application.

The venture was announced in June, but despite being billed as a cross-operator initiative, Three's CEO says he didn't even hear of the deal until half an hour before it went public. The other operators say Three is welcome to sign up, just as Facebook or Skype is welcome to sign up, but only as a customer of the service, not an owner.

The single-platform plan is a good one: operators sensibly abandoning their dreams of raking a percentage of every electronic transaction, and instead ensuring that they get control over the electronic coupons and location-based advertising that NFC makes possible.

Those opportunities are significant as the secure element inherent in the Near Field Communications standard makes distribution (and use) of loyalty points and promotional vouchers possible, and it's not a business already dominated by Visa, Mastercard and their ilk.

Companies planning to use such things will want to deal with a single entity, so they can launch an electronic loyalty card and have it work on every NFC phone regardless of the network operator (and able to transition between network operators). That's what the joint venture is intended to provide, though without Three it lacks critical ubiquity.

Three reckons this is a deliberate move to stifle a growing competitor who is starting to take customers from its bigger rivals. The other operators say Three has never shown significant interest in NFC and their race to market would be delayed by including another company in the ownership structure.

The venture will need regulatory approval, and Three's arguments are pretty compelling. If a joint venture can't offer cross-network compatibility then it will simply fall to Apple and/or Google to provide the services on which the operators can't agree, and not for the first time. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US
Biting the bullet would let Blighty-based biz flip the bird at AT&T
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.