Sicap, leading over-the-air enabler of mobile business, has recently announced its ability to provision contactless applications indifferently to any device or SIM designed for NFC (near field communication) services. The dual expertise puts Sicap in a unique position on the market and, more importantly, confers network operators the control of NFC business.
The battle by device and SIM manufacturers to bind operators to their technologies has until now hindered the launch of large scale contactless payment services, despite the incentives of a lucrative business model and a revolution in usage of the mobile phone. The main issue for operators is that conflicting interests have resulted in the NFC secure element, essential for bank transactions, being embedded either in the device, or in an SD (secure digital) card, or in the SIM.
Vendor-independant service enabler Sicap is the ideal enabler for NFC because of its server-side expertise and in-house knowledge databases of all device and SIM capabilities. Sicap leverages its databases to recognise device &SIM characteristics and capabilities, then provides the appropriate solution.
Sicap SIM OTA platform can seamlessly download NFC service applets, wherever the secure element may be located. Sicap OTA Device Management Center recognises device capabilities and correctly delivers mobile applications for trusted financial and commercial partners. In case of loss or theft, the application and services can be restored on the new device & SIM.
The difficulty for operators to access and manage the secure element is also being countered by standards bodies, including the GSM Association which has recently imposed SWP (single wire protocol) to interface between the NFC secure element and the SIM. SWP effectively involves the SIM in the delivery chain, nipping any bypass of the operator in the bud.
Sicap Head of Device and SIM products, Stéphane Jayet, said today «Our expertise in key areas of the NFC ecosystem comes from proven implementation of over-the-air platforms around the World, today totalling over 50 networks. Today, we can proudly claim to be the only business enabler with dual in-house device and SIM expertise. In 2009 and 2010, many of our operator customers are conducting NFC trials. Sicap will actively support them in their regional context ».
The Sicap portfolio focuses on customer satisfaction and service continuity for mobile end-users. Server-side software enables operators to ensure that the latest multimedia and customer care services are seamlessly delivered to any device or SIM. The offer extends to include platforms which facilitate business between network operators and their partners. Hosted implementations or carrier-grade OSS platform installations provide operators a choice of service levels and investment.