NFC needs more market cooperation

Near-field communications (NFC) will spur a new segment of mobile applications but certain issues need to be resolved, according to Berg Insight.


NFC allows mobile phones to communicate with different devices but in the long term, consumers are seen not to keep on accepting multiple devices, cards, accounts and passwords.


Thus, standards are needed to enable a "paradigm shift" that will transform the mobile phone into a terminal for communicating with intelligent objects in the environment.


"Local contactless services are already available to over 50 million mobile users that can shop, travel and get information by just waving their phones over readers," said Sabine Ehlers, Berg Insight associate analyst.


She cited Japan as an example wherein there are a number of readers installed, service partners linked and subscriber terminals in use.


"When it comes to actually applying the technology however, the mass of consumers apparently need time to change deep-rooted behaviors," said Ehlers. 


In Europe, Berg reports the development is held back by uncertainty about business models and the lack of coordination between different players. Operators, in particular, regard NFC with caution due to its lack of obvious revenues for network owners, the report said.