China Mobile, China Unicom back NFC technology

The two operators have 800 million mobile users

China Mobile and China Unicom, two of the country's largest mobile operators, said they plan to bring SIM card-based Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to their customers.

The GSM Association (GSMA), which has been working on global standardization of NFC, announced on Tuesday that the two Chinese mobile operators were backing the technology. The companies join 43 other mobile operators in the world that have also pledged support to SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) based NFC services and products, GSMA said.

The adoption of NFC in China is significant as the country has 940 million total mobile connections, exceeding the total number of connections in Europe and the U.S. combined, according to GSMA data. China Mobile and China Unicom together have 800 million users.

China is leading a surge in mobile connections in the Asia Pacific region. Half of the world's 6 billion mobile subscribers will be in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of this year, according to a study released Tuesday.

The region will have 4.1 billion connections by 2015, when it will also account for 40 per cent of mobile data traffic worldwide, according to the study produced by GSMA in collaboration with A.T. Kearney. China had the largest number of connections in 2010, followed by India and Indonesia.

NFC technology would allow phones to become mobile wallets. Users could make purchases simply by waving their phone across special contactless readers in a store.

China Mobile has 633 million customers, making it the world's largest mobile operator. In a statement, China Mobile said it had the capacity to drive market adoption of NFC with its customers.

China Unicom, which has 188 million mobile users, also said in a statement that the company wants to ensure NFC technology will be interoperable among different mobile operators so that customers can roam with it anywhere.

While NFC technology has been mainly viewed as a way to allow for secure payments, the technology could also be used for secure access to hotels and cars, as well as a way for users to keep electronic tickets or coupons on their phones. Operators want to develop NFC technology on SIM cards, rather than solely on the phones themselves.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags consumer electronicsGSM Associationsmartphonesmobile

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?