Korean mobile network operators, card issuers, consumer electronics manufacturers and government organisations have formed the Grand NFC Korea Alliance with the aim of creating a US$1bn business opportunity and more than 5,000 jobs.
The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) has unveiled details of an ambitious project designed to place Korean firms at the leading edge of NFC.
The Grand NFC Korea Alliance brings together a wide range of leading Korean businesses and government organisations with the aim of building an NFC-based service infrastructure, testing 'mobile smart life' projects and enabling Korean firms to take leadership positions in the next-generation mobile payment and application services market.
Members of the alliance include:
- Mobile network operators SK Telecom, KT and LG U+
- Credit card firms Hana SK Card, BC Card, Shinhan Card, MasterCard and KB Kookmin Card
- Manufacturers Samsung, LG, Pantech, UbiVelox, KEBT, MtekVision and 3A Logics
- Telecoms billing service providers Danal, Mobilians, KCP and Galaxia
- Government organisations and associations including KISA, ETRI, TTA, MOIBA and Korea Internet Companies Association.
KCC says the NFC-based mobile smart life industry is expected to "generate KRW1,034 billion (US$957m) in productions, KRW347.5 billion (US$322m) in added values, and 5,707 jobs for the next five years."
"The NFC-based Mobile Smart Life services market is still in its infancy," KCC explains. "Thus, if our service providers can make the best use of their technical competitiveness and accumulate application service experiences, they will certainly stand out in the global market."
Among the initiatives which have been given the green light are plans to:
- Accelerate the spread of merchant terminals equipped with NFC.
- Run pilot services for small merchants involving the development of NFC-based payments terminals.
- Develop a variety of NFC applications including ticketing, physical access control, user authentication and coupons.
- Spread the use of NFC-based ticketing, tourist information and customised advertising through the use of tags in combination with location-based services.
- Promote the development of secure mobile payment services.
- Promote the development of NFC-based smart wallet technology.
- Build a testbed that can be used by Korean SMEs to test their products before putting them on the market.