Friday, 3 February 2012

Japan to meet international mobile phone standards

NTT Docomo, Japan's largest telecom operator, has announced the formation of a consortium of telecoms and banks that will coordinate the adoption of international standards for near field communication (NFC) technologies in the Japanese market. 

Alongside the domestic mobile carriers Softbank Mobile and KDDI, NTT released a statement which describes how the new conglomerate aims 'to work with mobile industry groups in Japan, including service suppliers and handset manufacturers, to incorporate compatibility...[with overseas]...standards in the Japanese mobile ecosystem.' 

in Tokyo
Mobile operators in Japan, which is ­ the world's second largest economy, have been offering mobile payment and other related phone services for years, but they use non-NFC standards, so-called Osaifu-Keitai technology. NFC technology, however, incorporates a variety of existing ISO standards. Therefore, the newly formed consortium aims to ensure compatibility with so-called Type A and B mobile standards, which are mostly being used in Europe, Australia, Africa and the USA.

Industry experts expect Japan will benefit from the NFC technology since it will create international acceptance of Japanese mobile phones and should encourage cross-border mobile payments. Following NTT, Softbank and KDDI's move, Japan Airlines announced on 2 February it will introduce NFC-based boarding passes for all its Japanese and international passengers in August. 

Michiel Willems © 2012 Cecile Park Publishing Ltd. London, UK. Top picture: