A new white paper from UK-based telecoms management consultant The Human Chain looks at whether NFC technologies can gain market share and how they could potentially impact development of integrated NFC handsets. Essentially, the report reviews the business case for new NFC form factors and challenges the industry to address the barriers to market.
“We’ve all heard the technology suppliers talk up NFC technology, but there are still significant questions that the industry needs to address if it is to take off in the way that some analysts predict,” said Tim Jefferson, managing director of The Human Chain and author of the white paper, “Alternative NFC form factors – Will they gain market share?”
Deployment of NFC technology via an integrated mobile handset has stalled while ecosystem players wait for somebody else to make the first move, the white paper points out. But many in the industry are now looking at alternative form factors which, although lacking the same over-the-air functionality as integrated handset solutions, could provide contactless functionality sooner, potentially at a lower price point and also using different business models.
The white paper examines how the two main alternatives, NFC stickers and NFC micro SD cards, work and considers the business implications of deploying them.
“Stickers can save start-up costs and be quicker to market compared with other form factors,” said Jefferson. “They also benefit from well-known production and distribution channels and existing business models and routes to market.”
Still, even deploying stickers has its challenges. “Mobile Network Operators and carriers wouldn’t have any control of unpowered stickers, so their role in such a technology should be considered,” added Jefferson.
The White Paper can be downloaded from here.