Commercialisation of NFC services to spur trusted service management market

Trusted Service Managers (TSMs) are a key partner of service providers and mobile network operators for providing security in the near field communication (NFC) ecosystem. New participants, particularly companies well established in the IT and telecommunications sectors, are set to enter the trusted services market in the short term. During the early stages of NFC, the main core services of TSMs will have a technical character; however, as NFC matures, TSMs will evolve and fulfil a business enabler role.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Trusted Service Manager – The Secure Bridge Between NFC Stakeholders, forecasts that the revenues derived from the trusted service management for the NFC services market will reach approximately €330 million by 2015, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 74 per cent between 2010 and 2015. Life cycle management of applications and management of the secure element are anticipated to remain the main sources of revenue.

“NFC handset availability will stop being a restraint and will, instead, become a driver for the NFC services market, and thereby, for the trusted services market with 2011 and 2012 expected to be key years in NFC-handset-deployment,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Mario Fernandez. “Moreover, the increasing number of collaborations between mobile network operators and service providers will constitute one of the major catalysts for trusted services market in NFC.”

Regardless of the technology that supports NFC or the business model chosen by market participants, the need of having a trusted service manager in the middle to moderate the technical aspects of their relationship will persist. Eventually, TSMs may evolve and become responsible for the management of commercial relationships between participants of the NFC market.

“Payment and transportation applications will push the market during the next five years,” avers Fernandez. “Provisioning of platforms for Digital Right Management and mobile marketing are markets that have not been explored by TSMs, but they could become, if well addressed, a source of tremendous growth.”

Multiplicity of secure element form factors, interoperability among consortia and low end-user awareness are still issues that are affecting the uptake of NFC and, thereby, the trusted services market.

NFC is a nascent industry in which all participants want to set up the conditions and obtain the greatest market share during the early stages. However, NFC commercialisation will not take place if such approaches are taken.

“It is important that none of the NFC participants pushes for a single type solution, but rather that all participants firstly focus on standardising the market,” advises Fernandez. “TSMs are key stakeholders of the NFC ecosystem, and their collaboration is needed for the successful deployment of NFC services. The MIFARE4Mobile industry group is a great example of cooperation among competitors. Seven major companies from the telecom, smart card, semiconductor and payment industries have joined forces to create a space where they can collaborate. The group’s purpose is to bring forth relevant specifications and standards for the management of MIFARE™ applications on NFC secure elements.”

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