NFC is starting to have its limelights …
but what about the phones ?
A lot of application of NFC technology are taking place also in Europe. Some experimentations also in Italy will take the place in the next months. A good sample in transportation world in Italy after New York tap’n go initiative and London Underground has been created in Trentothanks to Telecom Italia and TSF last December. In those scenarios a good handset manufacturer position made the difference.
The Telco operators (as well as MVNOs) that would like to open its SIM to new applications want to protect their investements and to valorize their asset in the customer hands, not the handset itself of course unlockable or unbrnaded, but the SIM. So they push handset manufacturers to put antenna and RFID chip capable to interact with SIM application; from the other hand instead handset manufacturer would like to valorize their asset without any engagements (or lock) with Telecom Operators.
Any scenario has its plus and minus, in one case NFC could be used as a retention tool to avoid high churn rate and the management of the application is for sure seamless, in another case I can increase customer loyalty and fidelity could increase using an independent Telco provider solution that i need to maintain.
Which approach will depend by whole ecosystem scenario that will arise.
It will be almost impossible implement a Mobile Payment solution without involving banks and all the major national MNOs present in a country. This means that any proprietary solution working only on a customer base will be hard to deploy in the near future … It is also true that the NFC handset price is still high (more than 500 Euro) and to develop an ecosystem it needs some subsidy, as happened for Video Terminal to develop Video Calls, this could be supported by Telco jointly with some banks in a geographically defined territory.
So a position so unopen related the SIM could be justified by handset manufacturer only if they start to produce millions of terminal under 300 Euro price. Meanwhile thanks to Telco Operators will deploy solution facilitating the NFC adoption, the ecosystem creation, the handset manufacturer requests and the downprice of NFC handset.