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  • Editing Team 17:52 on January 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    “T-Mobile Makes NFC a Reality in 2013” 

    T-Mobile-NFC-2013-rfid-blogT-Mobile USA is working with a number of partners to bring “a variety of NFC technologies to market”, according to a blog written by senior vice president of product management, Brad Duea.

    The plans go beyond the operator’s current NFC offerings, said Duea in a post on the operator’s website titled “T-Mobile makes NFC a reality in 2013”.

    Specifically he mentioned US bank Chase as a partner with which T-Mobile USA is currently working. The bank was one of the first to put its credit cards in the ISIS mobile wallet along with American Express and Capital One.

    T-Mobile USA, along with AT&T and Verizon, are the three shareholders in ISIS, which launched a trial service last autumn in Austin and Salt Lake City in the US.

    Looking back at 2012, Duea said “we saw the expansion of NFC technology in a number of smartphones” including the Samsung Galaxy S III, Google Nexus 4, Windows Phone 8X by HTC, Nokia Lumia 810, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G and Samsung Galaxy S II.

    The operator also launched other NFC-based devices including the Nokia wireless charging stand and Samsung’s TecTiles, headset and media hub.

  • Editing Team 12:44 on September 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Mobile Operators Got Unconditional Approval to Launch NFC in the UK 

    mobile-operators-NFC-payment-UK-rfid-blogUK’s three largest mobile network operators — Vodafone, Telefónica and Everything Everywhere — have been given an unconditional approval by the European Commission, to form a joint venture company, in order to introduce NFC mobile payments and promotional services in the UK.

    “Mobile commerce is a nascent sector that may radically change the consumer buying experience in the next few years,” says Joaquín Almunia, commission vice president in charge of competition policy.

    “The proposed joint venture is one of several initiatives to develop the sector in Europe,” he added. “The Commission is keen on promoting innovation in this area and ensuring that the markets remain open so that a number of competing solutions can emerge without undue obstacles, to the benefit of consumers.”

    “The Commission’s preliminary market investigation revealed that a number of alternatives already exist and much more are very likely to emerge in the near future to ensure adequate competitive pressure on the joint venture’s mobile wallet platform,” the Commission explains. “Some of these alternatives may rely on a secure access to the SIM card of the mobile handsets in order to store sensitive data like bank account numbers, etc. This access will be controlled by the mobile network operators, including in particular the three parents of the joint venture.”

    “However, other alternatives exist which do not store sensitive data on SIM cards and it is unlikely that the creation of the joint venture will allow the parent mobile network operators to block these alternative routes to market using technical or commercial means.

    “As regards the joint venture’s advertising and data analytics activities, the market investigation revealed that there will be various other players who have access to a comparable set of data and who will offer services in competition with the joint venture.”

    The three mobile network operators have issued a joint statement, officially welcoming the EU’s unconditional approval of their plans.

  • Editing Team 15:51 on August 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    UK’s Everything Everywhere Teams up with MasterCard for NFC Service 

    Everything-Everywhere-MasterCard-NFC-mobile-payment-rfid-blogUK wireless company Everything Everywhere, owning T-Mobile UK and Orange UK, has just made an NFC deal with MasterCard, which means that Orange and T-Mobile customers will be able to use their phones to make payments at 100,000 retailers around Britain. The deal will expand to include shopping online and sending money to other people.

    “Our vision is of a world beyond cash and the phone is a key tool to driving this step-change,” says Marion King, president of MasterCard UK & Ireland, “As the sophistication of smartphones continues to evolve, and the mobile payments ecosystem starts to open up, I believe that people will use their mobile phones in lieu of a traditional wallet and start making higher-end purchases, such as white goods or even cars, all through their phones.”

    Before this deal, Everything Everywhere has made several attempts to start its own NFC service. In May of 2011, Orange partnered with Barclaycard to launch a new NFC service called QuickTap. Soon after that, in June of 2011, Everything Everywhere, Vodafone and O2 teamed up to announce plans of a mobile payments service which would be compatible with all of their networks. However, since then, no further details have been given.

    Last week, UK Ofcom gave the company permission to re-purpose some of its existing spectrum for 4G LTE coverage, which took the front page. This means Everything Everywhere can launch a 4G LTE network ahead of its competitors, which are stuck waiting for Ofcom’s spectrum auction at the end of this year.

  • Editing Team 15:21 on August 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    T-Mobile Austria Making Real-time Price Update via RFID 

    T-Mobile-Austria-update-price-real-time-rfid-blogIn the past, employees at T-Mobile Austria’s stores have to spend hours before work or during lunch break updating prices and other product details, involving printing and cutting out paper labels. Now, with RFID technology, T-Mobile Austria sought a more effective method to change product information across all of its retail stores in an instant.

    The company has installed RFID-based electronic shelf labels, manufactured by ZBD Solutions, at 11 T-Mobile stores in Austria as well as within neighboring countries, reducing approximately 40% of staff’s labor time.

    “Paper labels proved to be highly inefficient and very labor-intensive, often taking store staff away from selling,” says David Rogers, ZBD Solutions’ sales and marketing director. What’s more, he notes, there was no guarantee that changes were updated accurately at each store.

    After successfully trialing the solution at a single store for 3 months, T-Mobile Austria determined that the system functioned and that employees were able to work with the technology.

    With the system in place, David Morgan, ZBD’s senior VP of global sales and T-Mobile Austria’s managers, says, “staff are free to spend more time with customers, and T-Mobile can ensure that call or handset pricing information is always up-to-date and 100 percent accurate.”

    By using the technology, Morgan reports, T-Mobile Austria has seen a 40 percent savings on material and employee costs, based on eliminating the manual printing, cutting and applying of labels, as well as a reduction in the need for paper and toner. The system also provides T-Mobile Austria’s managers with confirmation that pricing and product information remains up-to-date at every store.

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