NFC on SIM gives new life to legacy phones


INSIDE Secure and Sunward Telecom have announced they are demonstrating a new NFC upgrade solution that fits entirely within a standard-size SIM card and achieves industry standard, 4cm proximity transaction performance when inserted in a non-NFC mobile phone.

Simulating a MasterCard PayPass payment transaction, the demonstration shows how non-NFC mobile phones can be easily upgraded to perform payment and other transactions simply by inserting a new SIM card, a capability that will help accelerate the adoption of NFC card-emulation applications within legacy mobile phones in China and other markets with a large installed base of phones.

'It’s only been a few months since we gave the first proof of concept demonstration of this breakthrough technology at CARTES 2011, and now through the cooperation and expertise of Sunward Telecom we are able to show a complete solution that will soon be bringing new applications and business models to customers in China,' said Bertrand Moussel, executive vice president, EMEA and Latin America sales at INSIDE Secure.

'Through our alignment with Sunward Telecom, INSIDE was first to place an NFC card emulation solution, including antenna, into a standard SIM card, insert it into a mobile phone and have it perform up to industry standards. Now, Sunward Telecom will be first to market with a solution based upon INSIDE’s core technology that can bring the benefits of NFC functionality to the huge installed base of non-NFC phones.'

The NFC SIM card product developed by Sunward Telecom achieves its groundbreaking performance using core technology from INSIDE that significantly reduces the effects of the metals and electrical noise typically found within mobile phones and other mobile devices. When inserted into a phone, the NFC SIM card is able to communicate at 4cm with contactless readers compliant with the ISO 14443 and EMVCo standards.

'NFC technology is being adopted by the major Chinese banks and mobile service operators, and contactless mobile payments will be one of the key applications of these organisations in the upcoming years,' said Eddie Kwok, CEO at Sunward Telecom. 'The NFC SIM card we are developing with INSIDE has all the components, including the antenna, embedded in the SIM card, and will allow mobile service providers and their customers to conduct contactless payments and other proximity transactions using NFC without purchasing a new phone or other alternative NFC device. We are very excited to work with INSIDE to create a product based on their patented NFC core technologies and introduce it to the China mobile commerce market.'

Sunward Telecom expects to begin shipping NFC SIM card products based on the INSIDE technology in the fourth quarter of this year.


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