Top 4 New Network technologies in 2012

Regional and international experts discuss new network technologies, such as governance, risk and compliance and mobile application management, and what they mean for enterprises

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By  Georgina Enzer Published  November 11, 2012

“The reason it is taking time is that all NFC solutions need to get integrated well with backend systems and that takes time as solution providers have to make various systems work together and form a unified single ecosystem. The good news is that work on region wide deployment started sometime back and we are increasingly starting to see NFC enabled payment points in public space such as cinemas and supermarkets. Recently the RTA announced that by 2013 people will be able to use their smartphone to pay for fares in and around Dubai,” he said.

Many countries have begun NFC deployment with the adoption of contactless banking cards, according to Gemalto and many banks in the Middle East are starting looking into contactless bank cards.

“Some banks in the region are already deploying NFC. Local mobile operators are also looking closely into NFC, some pilots have already been announced and we expect that larger scale ones will soon start. It will take time for the infrastructure to be in place but we could realistically see wide scale NFC adoption in two to three years’ time frame,” states Toureille.

Turkey is leading the way in NFC deployments the MEA region when it comes to innovation and was the first country to deploy NFC. In December 2010, mobile phone operator AVEA partnered with Garanti Bank to launch their BonusluAvea NFC service and in April 2011, mobile operator Turkcell followed with the launch of its Cep-T Cüzdan platform. Some pilots are ongoing in the gulf countries.

OMA Emirates along with its partners have worked on several NFC pilots with companies such Du, Zain, National Bank of Kuwait and Dubai First. This process has helped the company demonstrate the technology and its benefits for end-users and the organisation.

“We are positive that the increased awareness and our in-house capabilities will enable us to ink some strong deals in the near future,” explains Sangal.

According to Sony, the company has lots of pilot projects ongoing between solution providers, banks and operators and is in talks about setting up a whole commerce solution based on NFC.

Deployment in the region

Like anywhere else in the world, the introduction of new technologies and NFC services to the market takes time as it requires the construction of complex local ecosystems and business models involving many players such as banks, transport companies, telecom operators, retailers, merchants, OEMs etc. Once the NFC platform and NFC phones are rolled out, for people to be able to enjoy the benefits of NFC, the deployment of NFC point of sales terminals is crucial.

“The main challenge for the Middle East, would be to get the Point of Sales infrastructure ready to sustain the mobile payment use-case so as soon as mobile operators and banks launch their services, subscribers could then be able to start enjoying the NFC experience anywhere, anytime without any further delays,” states Toureille.

Some major factors that are holding up NFC deployment in the region are firstly big companies accepting the NFC transactions and secondly the issuance of contactless cards to make the first step towards bringing the technology to consumers.

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