3i: NFC, the next big wireless opportunity

3i Group's technology sector head for wireless, Peter Gardner had some sober words for WiMAX proponents and gave a nod to near-field communications at the Silicon South-West meeting: "I am skeptical about WiMAX as an alternative to either WiFi or cellular. I think spectrum issues may stop WiMAX. There is no standard spectrum available. It is strongly regulated in different countries, there's no sign of it becoming standardized." Gardner was particularly bullish on the opportunities presented by near-field communications, "at $1 it's cheaper to connect by wireless than by wire" and by 2010 half of all mobile handsets will have wireless authentication technology. DoCoMo has already deployed an NFC service that allows mobile users to wirelessly pay for the subway.

For more on Gardner's remarks:
- check out this article from ElectronicsWeekly