The ability to use your phone for NFC mobile payments across borders just became a reality. Gemalto announced that it has developed the first UICC-embedded software application that is approved by Mastercard’s mobile payment specification for NFC. Gemalto’s software provides a number of features, including the Trusted Service Management interface for PayPass payments, and the ability to manage and view your mobile transaction history. Your SIM, and ultimately your phone, can be linked to debit, credit, and prepaid accounts — users can even top up their prepaid cards using Gemalto’s software. You’ll also be able to set your account PIN directly from your phone. When we interviewed MasterCard’s vice president of mobile, James Anderson, last week, he said that the key to NFC was that it has to work wherever you are — whether you’re at home or away on vacation. That’s now possible. “Leveraging the interoperability of MasterCard PayPass, Gemalto’s effort will enable cross-border mobile NFC payment, adding ease to the fast-paced lifestyles of more and more consumers across the world,” Anderson said. It’s unclear when Gemalto’s solution will land in the hands of consumers, but the company says it is already working with a first-tier financial institution and a major global carrier for a UK roll-out. Hit the jump for the full release More →
According to an unconfirmed report in The Telegraph Sunday morning, Apple has abandoned its plans to develop an integrated SIM card for the iPhone. The report, which cites a senior source at a mobile operator, suggests that Apple backed down from its plans in light of pressures from European carriers. Apple was rumored to be developing an integrated SIM card that would be commissionable by multiple operators. This would allow Apple to exclude carriers from the sale process. It would also allow customers to easily transfer their service from one carrier to another without the need to obtain a new SIM card or purchase a new handset. Following purported threats from European carriers that would refuse to subsidize the high cost of the iPhone if Apple decided to implement its new SIM, Apple is now said to have ceased development. “Apple has long been trying to build closer and closer relationships and cut out the operators,” The Telegraph’s source stated. “But this time they have been sent back to the drawing board with their tails between their legs.” More →
One of our solid Apple sources has just let us know some pretty interesting (and exciting) information surrounding Apple’s upcoming iPhone devices. For starters, we have been told that iPhone model 3,2 — what everyone is assuming to be the Verizon (or at least CDMA-compatible) phone — just hit the “AP” testing stage. This is the very last stage before retail release; final hardware, almost final software. Here is the odd thing, though… the iPhone 3,2 unit, we have been exclusively told, contains a SIM card slot. This is interesting for a multitude of reasons, and presents several different scenarios:
- The iPhone 3,2 could be the mythical CDMA + GSM/HSPA device that would support Verizon, AT&T, and the other current worldwide iPhone 4 carriers frequencies. The mid-cycle refresh would bring an updated antenna design for the current iPhone 4 and bring CDMA-compatibility; essentially, Verizon Wireless subscribers would have the same device as AT&T subscribers.
- The iPhone 3,2 could be a CDMA-capable iPhone that houses a SIM card for global roaming capabilities; though that certainly seems more complicated than just having one single glove that would fit both hands.
- One last possibility that the iPhone model 3,2 would simply be a slightly different design that doesn’t suffer from the same antenna attenuation as the current model; though that would be a little disappointing.
As far as the next generation iPhone 5, our source has also indicated to us that device has hit the “EVT” stage in the development cycle. The “EVT” stage is the engineering verification test phase, before the “DVT” phase.
If you’ve never seen a micro-SIM before, you’ll probably be pretty shocked to learn that it’s simply just a smaller SIM card… just like the name implies. What’s interesting, however, is that the SIM isn’t actually different as the chip is exactly the same, the only difference is that the plastic surrounding it is minimized. In any case, just in time for the Apple iPad 3G launch and upcoming next generation iPhone launch, AT&T stores have started receiving new SIM cards which have cutouts for both the regular SIM standard, and the new micro-SIM all in one. A pretty cleaver move, don’t you say? One more image after the break! More →
We don’t think we need to go over what an insanely huge day today is for Canada, but in case anyone is feeling particularly thick, we’re going to spell it out plan and simple — Rogers is no longer the only HSPA game in Canada. Bell’s 21Mbps HSPA network has at long last gone live. As with any network launch, a few awesome handsets, data cards and a few Canadian-style rip-off plans have come along for the ride. So hit the jump and check out what’s new.
UK-based mobile service provider Geodesa Limited just made a pretty exciting announcement and we can only hope this is the start of a continuing trend. For those unfamiliar with Geodesa, the company’s core product is the GeoSIM — a SIM card with attached service that does away with insane international roaming charges across a pretty massive expanse. It’s newly announced upcoming product, the GeoSIM Dual IMSI SIM card, will take things one step further and provide two local phone numbers — initially one US and on UK number — on a single SIM, thus facilitating free incoming calls in both regions and hugely discounted outgoing calls / SMS. Blurb time:
We are really excited about this ‘market shaking product’ which is generating a great deal of interest from customers and resellers already. In the past, travellers roaming on a US network have had to pay for incoming calls on their mobiles and paid higher charges for making calls. From mid April, all that will change when we roll out GeoSIM Dual IMSI. The USA will effectively become part of Europe in terms of the GeoSIM call rates and free incoming calls. GeoSIM customers will be able to call and receive at the current rates available in Europe or the US no matter which side of the Atlantic they are on.
Interest piqued, frequent fliers? Yes, ours is as well. The GeoSIM Dual IMSI SIM card (guys, work on that name a bit please) will launch in April and we’ll definitely keep an eye on Geodesa to see how the service is received and when it might expand in terms of available number locales.
What has up until now been the exclusive playground of Seattle and Dallas-based T-Mobile customers will soon be sweeping across the entire nation. T-Mobile has announced that their @Home VOIP phone service will be available wherever T-Mobile service is found, beginning Wednesday, July 2nd. For those that need a refresher course, @Home is a supplemental service that allows existing T-Mobile customers to add a home phone line to their account for $10/month. The service requires a proprietary Linksys Wi-Fi router that accepts a T-Mobile SIM card, but customers are free to use the cordless phone of their choice. The price of the HiPort router is $49.99 with a 2-year contract when you purchase the service. We have yet to test an actual unit, but if it works as well as they say it does, we think this might prove to be an excellent alternative to a stand-alone land-line subscription.