European operators slowly progress with NFC payment plans
The Isis mobile payments effort, pushed by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA, is just now getting off the ground with service launches in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas. Isis is an attempt by the carriers to blunt the launch of rival mobile payment solutions from the likes of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and PayPal. In Europe, the situation is much the same, with operators in the very early stages of their own mobile payment rollouts. For example, the Sixpack alliance in the Netherlands no longer exists, and the United Kingdom venture with the working title of 'Project Oscar' has only just gained much-delayed approval from the European Union, to name two recent developments. At the same time, Google Wallet has not yet gained widespread traction in Europe. "Not many ventures have demonstrated good success so far," said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner, noting that penetration of Near Field Communications-capable smartphones is also still too low to make it meaningful for a wide adoption of the service. She also said the ecosystem in most markets outside of Japan is still under-developed. Check out this FierceWireless:Europe special report on the status of operators' NFC mobile payment plans in Europe.