NXP and Sony have announced the creation of Moversa, a joint venture geared for universal contactless solutions on mobile phones. It marks another step toward the commercial availability of Near Field Communication (NFC). The new company is designed to help service providers such as mobile phone operators, transportation network operators and credit card companies accelerate their rollouts of advanced contactless services to mobile phone users. Moversa will plan, develop, produce and market a secure chip technology that will support contactless providers NXP and Sony while also supporting third party applications.
Eindhoven, Netherlands and Tokyo, Japan–NXP, the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips, and Sony Corporation today announced the formation of Moversa, a joint venture (JV) that will drive global adoption of contactless smart card applications in mobile phones using Near Field Communication (NFC).
Moversa will plan, develop, produce and market a secure chip, a Universal Secure Access Module (U-SAM), that incorporates both MIFARE and FeliCa™ operating systems and applications, two of the most widely installed contactless smart card technologies in the world. The U-SAM will also support other contactless operating systems and applications based on customer requirements. Moversa will be headquartered in Vienna, Austria, and led by co-presidents Guus Frericks of NXP and Toshio Yoshihara of Sony.
When used together with an NFC chip, Moversa’s U-SAM will create a universal contactless IC platform for mobile phones that can be used globally. The formation of Moversa will accelerate the adoption of NFC on a global level. Since its co-inventors, NXP and Sony, introduced the short-range wireless technology to the market in 2002, NFC has proven popular in numerous trials, opening up new opportunities for commercial mobile services around the world.
Moversa paves the way for consumers to use mobile handsets for various contactless applications such as mobile payments and transport ticketing, anytime, anywhere. The U-SAM products will provide mobile device manufacturers with the technology to design global products compatible with different contactless protocols and operating systems deployed in different countries. This enables service providers such as mobile phone operators, transportation network operators and credit card companies to accelerate the rollout of advanced contactless services to mobile phone users. First samples of the secure chip will be available by mid-2008 for solutions embedded in mobile phones. Initial commercial deployments are targeted for the end of next year.
Marc de Jong, executive vice president and general manager, NXP Semiconductors, said: “Moversa signals the next step in the evolution of contactless technologies. Combining multiple contactless technologies in a single secure chip opens a vast array of opportunities for service providers to roll out great new services to consumers on a global scale–from using your handset as a credit card, to making online purchases and paying for public transportation.”
Hiromasa Otsuka, corporate executive and senior vice president, Sony Corporation, commented: “The offerings from Moversa will enable users around the globe to enjoy a wide range of services that will change their lifestyles simply by touching a terminal with a mobile phone. Moversa will also bring Sony great opportunities to offer, on a worldwide basis, the contactless IC business model it has established in Japan, where mobile phone wallet services are deployed in multi-application, multi-handset and multi-carrier modes.”
Analyst Anoop Ubhey, smart cards global program director, Frost & Sullivan, said: “SIM cards, identification projects and mobile payments continue to drive growth in the global smart card market. Moversa’s development of new secure technologies enabling access across different contactless IC protocols and standards will help pave the way for broader global adoption of mobile contactless services throughout the world.”
NXP and Sony will continue to offer chips and applications based on their respective technology platforms MIFARE and FeliCa, while developing NFC technologies jointly.