Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Sony to Offer Next-Gen FeliCa Contactless Chips

Sony Corporation will be launching the next generation FeliCa contactless IC chip with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. The new IC chip will also support the existing DES encryption system for mutual authentication and data communication. According to Sony, sample Next-Gen FeliCa Contactless IC Chips will be shipped this winter, with mass production to start in the spring of 2012.

FeliCa smartcard technology is widely deployed in card or mobile phone products for various applications including transit and payment where high performance and security is required. To date, over 500 million FeliCa cards and mobile phone IC chips have been shipped worldwide.

The latest FeliCa IC chip will have the same command sets as the current DES-based FeliCa card system so that the FeliCa card with the new chip can easily be introduced into existing services. The chip will include a security-migration function for easy migration from the existing security system to the new AES encryption-based security.

Moscow in Its Final NFC Trial Phase

Moscow airport shuttle service Aeroexpress will be starting the second phase of its NFC ticketing trial. The test will include the use of NFC chips with flexible antennas and stickers as well as NFC phones, to enable passengers buy tickets with a simple 'tap and go' technology.

The trail is said to be conducted on 200 Aeroexpress employees. Moscow airport authority aims to roll out the NFC-based ticketing system in Aeroexpress rail service between Moscow central train stations and airports Vnukovo International Airport, Moscow Domodedovo Airport and Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Aeroexpress has appointed the Russia-based 'Processing Technologies' as the main vendor on the project. According to Processing Technologies, there are plans to introduce the new system by the end of this year, possibly with all major Russian mobile operators such as MTS, MegaFon and Vimpelcom.

During the first phase of the trial, held between November 2010 and January 2011, around 40 participants were selected. Participants tapped their Nokia 6212 NFC mobile phones on smart posters to buy tickets to Sheremetyevo International Airport. An SMS message is then received requesting the participant to confirm the ticket purchase. The ticket would then be downloaded to their phones via a link to a mobile website.

Samsung Set to Overtake Nokia

According to Nomura analysts, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will become the world's largest smartphone maker, overtaking Nokia and capturing lion's share in the smartphone market this quarter. Nokia, long dominated the smartphone market, will loose its position to Samsung Electronics or Apple Inc. Tokyo-based Nomura is one of the major industrial and financial conglomerate groupings of Japan with worldwide presence.

Nomura analysts said in a research note: "In 1996 Nokia launched the Communicator and the smartphone market that it has led in unit terms ever since. After about 14 years at the top, Nokia looks set to relinquish its smartphone crown". Nokia has lost its market to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android devices.

The recent partnership of Nokia with Microsoft Corp is seen by many as trying to gain its lost position in phone business.

Seminal NFC Over-the-Air and Over-the-Wire Provisioning Patent Awarded to Tyfone

Tyfone has announced the issuance of a seminal patent for over the network provisioning of add-on smartcard secure elements.

This new patent covers programming of smartcard circuitry in add-on electronic transaction cards in response to communication received over a network. This includes programming the electronic transaction card to operate as credit, debit, or stored value cards. Communication over a "network" includes wired, wireless, or cellular networks.

The patent, US 7,954,717, entitled "Provisioning Electronic Transaction Card in Mobile Device" has an effective filing date of February 22, 2005 and was issued on June 7, 2011.

"We recognised early on the benefits of supporting over-the-air and over-the-wire programming of add-on secure elements in electronic devices, especially for financial transactions", said Dr. Siva Narendra, president at Tyfone-North America. "The issuance of this patent is evidence of Tyfone's thought leadership with respect to technologies that Trusted Service Managers (TSMs) will require to scale and manage mobile handsets for use in secure ID and NFC applications. We are excited to be bringing solutions to the market during a time of tremendous global interest."

This patent addresses the use of add-on cards that may include smartcard circuitry. Technologies covered encompass the use of wired or wireless networks for provisioning transactional identities and information into a smartcard in an add-on slot of mobile devices.

Apple and Nokia Settle Litigation

Nokia announced that it has signed a patent license agreement with Apple. The agreement will result in settlement of all patent litigation between the companies, including the withdrawal by Nokia and Apple of their respective complaints to the US International Trade Commission.

The financial structure of the agreement consists of a one-time payment payable by Apple and on-going royalties to be paid by Apple to Nokia for the term of the agreement. The specific terms of the contract are confidential.

"We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees," said Stephen Elop, president and chief executive officer of Nokia. "This settlement demonstrates Nokia's industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market."

During the last two decades, Nokia has invested approximately EUR 43 billion in research and development and built one of the wireless industry's strongest and broadest IPR portfolios, with over 10,000 patent families. Nokia is a world leader in the development of handheld device and mobile communications technologies, which is also demonstrated by Nokia's strong patent position.

This agreement is expected to have a positive financial impact on Nokia's recently revised outlook for the second quarter 2011 of around break-even non-IFRS operating margin for Devices & Services.

The Future of Cards and Payments

The future of Cards and Payments

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