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KDDI to run multiple NFC tests in Japan

The mobile network operator has partnered with card issuers, airlines, a cinema chain, a car manufacturer and others to run a series of tests of NFC standard technology and aims to introduce NFC services “in the near future”.

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KDDI: The Japanese mobile operator has big plans for NFC

Japanese mobile network operator KDDI has announced it is to run a series of trials of near field communication technology, running from next month until the end of 2010.

The company has partnered with a wide range of technology suppliers and potential NFC service providers for the tests which will see a variety of potential NFC services being provided, ranging from NFC-based credit card and other electronic payments services to airline ticketing, drivers licenses, access to public services and smart posters.

KDDI ran a technical trial of NFC technology in 2008 with financial services giant Orico and MasterCard. Now, depending on the success of this new set of trials, it aims to introduce commercial NFC services in Japan “in the near future”.

KDDI’s tests will be based on international standards, the operator is keen to point out, and will comply with the GSMA’s Pay-Buy-Mobile specifications.

Partners and suppliers the mobile operator has signed up for the tests include:

  • Toyota, which will be testing the potential of NFC to deliver a wide range of in-car services
  • Orient Corporation, Credit Saison, Aiwai Card Services and MasterCard, who will be conducting tests of MasterCard’s Mobile Paypass technology and other NFC payments services
  • Nomura Research Institute which will be examining the potential of NFC to drive forward electronic cash solutions
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL), which will be testing a variety of NFC-based air travel services
  • Toho Cinemas, which will be testing NFC-based cinema ticketing
  • Dai Nippon Printing, which will be delivering a range of smart poster services
  • NTT Data, which will be testing the potential of NFC phones to store electronic drivers licenses.
  • T-Engine, part of the Tokyo Ubiquitous Technology Project, which will be testing the use of NFC tags in a variety of information services.
  • IBM, which will be building NFC into robotics products
  • Japan Remote Control Co, which will be conducting experiments with embedded NFC applications
  • Hitachi will be developing and providing a range of NFC-based public services
  • Gemalto is supplying TSM services and SIM cards, Denso is supply NFC reader/writer units and both Toshiba and Toppan Printing are actively involved in the project.

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