The Japanese government’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has announced plans to work with mobile phone makers worldwide to increase the use of Sony’s FeliCa chip in handsets, according to an Associated Press report. The ministry’s work may help speed the adoption of phone-based payments options in western countries.
FeliCa-enabled phones have been available in Japan since 2004, and most recent Japanese handset models have featured the technology. Now, the government ministry would like to see that happen in the rest of the world. FeliCa is similar to near field communication but uses a slightly different standard.
The drive to bring “wallet phones” to a global prominence is part of a general effort on the part of Japanese officials to boost their nation’s wireless and mobile technologies, including 3G mobile phones with Global System for Mobile communications, which enables a phone to be used in most countries.
An initial proposal for the government push was approved last month, with details and budgeting to be determined soon. The ministry is planning international missions and seminars to spread knowledge of the technology.
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