The GSM Association at a meeting in Macau yesterday declared its support for Carrier ENUM and for mobile payments based on near-field communications.
ENUM, which the GSMA previously called Number Resolution Service, is an IETF-sanctioned standard for converting traditional phone numbers into IP addresses. The GSMA endorsed clearing services company NeuStar’s recent Carrier ENUM test, while NeuStar said its PathFinder service is now commercially available and interoperates with public ENUM.
“PathFinder will accelerate the rollout of innovative IP-based services that will be the key to ensuring profitability in tomorrow’s industry… it helps mobile operators to cut costs and leverage their greatest asset: subscriber phone numbers,” GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair said.
Acme Packet and Telarix’s iXLink division are the first companies to have their products certified for PathFinder, officials said.
The GSMA also called for NFC technology to be in mainstream mobile phones by mid-2009 by using the standardized single wire protocol (SWP) interface, which enables communications between NFC hardware and a SIM card.
According to Rob Conway, GSMA’s CEO, there’s pentup demand for mobile transaction services and device makers need to incorporate SWP and NFC features in commercially available handsets to provide a coordinated approach.
“Doing so would enable the industry to leverage significant economies of scale, and ensure greater accessibility of NFC services for mobile users,” Conway said, in a statement.”
“As one of the first operators to trial mobile payments, we’ve seen first-hand, the willingness of consumers to adapt to this new payment channel which is very much dependent on the availability of NFC handsets and the associated ecosystem,” said Kris Rinne, senior vice president of Architecture and Planning for AT&T. “We hope that the GSMA’s delivery of a consolidated set of minimum requirements will accelerate the worldwide delivery of NFC-enabled handsets to the market.”
Trials are currently under way in eight countries involving nine mobile operators as part of the GSMA’s Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative. The GSMA has plans to expand pilots across 14 countries involving 15 operators.