vodafone.gifVodafone and the smart card manufacturer, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) have announced that they plan to jointly develop a secure storage element for NFC-enabled mobile phones. This element, intended for trusted applications in NFC mobile devices, is the SIM card, with Vodafone and G&D driving the necessary standardization forward. NFC is a new, wireless-based technology that enables contactless transmission of data between two NFC devices over short distances (i.e., a few centimeters).

Vodafone and G&D will continue developing the specification before making it available to a wider audience in the middle of the year.

Numerous NFC pilot projects have been set up. In Germany, Vodafone and Deutsche Bahn have just announced a project for a new electronic ticketing system on the basis of NFC together with G&D and other partners. The first pilot tests with Touch&Travel are scheduled for this year on the ICE’s Berlin to Hanover service, on metropolitan sub-network and on all the municipal public transport services in Brandenburg‘s state capital, Potsdam. If the pilot tests are successful, the product will be introduced throughout Germany.

In a bid to take mobile NFC systems mainstream at a manufacturer-independent and global level, the industry is currently working on creating the necessary standards to ensure interoperability between all system components. This objective is also behind the initiative launched by Vodafone and G&D to establish SIM cards as a standard, trusted mobile NFC application host.