Japan mobile carriers to expand mobile touch payment beyond Sony standard

NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank said they will incorporate global standards into Japan's contactless payment environment

Japan's three biggest mobile phone companies said Wednesday they will adopt international standards for touch payment systems, expanding beyond the current implementation by Sony.

NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank said they will work together in the newly formed "Japan Mobile NFC Consortium" to bring the country in line with oversea trends. The companies currently use the NFC, or near field communication, standard called FeliCa, developed and owned by Sony, but said they will incorporate two other standards that are more common abroad, known as "Type A" and "Type B."

As in other countries, the technology allows users to pay for train tickets, food and other purchases by placing a card near special readers. In Japan many phones also come with the technology built in, but foreign-made phones must be modified to work in the existing ecosystem, which is run by DoCoMo and called "Osaifu Keita," or "wallet phone."

The companies, which collectively have about 124 million contracts in a country with a total population of under 130 million, are eager to squeeze more income out of mobile devices, as price wars cut revenue and massive investments in next-generation networks weigh on their balance sheets.

Encouraged by the government, they are also moving to adopt more international standards after long years of developing Japan-only implementations, a trend that led analysts to dub the country's mobile industry "Galapagos," because technologies evolved cut off from the rest of the world.

The move away from a Sony-dependent technology should also lower costs for the mobile trio. A joint press release announcing the founding of the consortium said the companies want to free users from having to worry about different NFC standards as well as "create an environment where service providers can offer efficient, low-cost NFC services."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NTT DoCoMoKDDImobileSoftbank

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?