Toshiba today announced that it will start delivery of commercial User Identity Module (UIM) cards supporting near field communication (NFC) to Japanese mobile network operator KDDI in February.
User Identity Module (UIM) card is an emerging generation of subscriber identity module (SIM) card for use on multiple mobile phone standards. It offers enhanced user benefits by supporting storage of user information, such as telephone directories and private identification information for on-line financial transactions. The next-generation cellular phone telecommunications standard, IMT-2000, adopts UIM, enabling subscribers to use a common IC card between cellular phones with different telephone standards such as wide-CDMA and GSM.
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range wireless connectivity technology that evolved from a combination of existing contactless identification and interconnection technologies. Products with built-in NFC willsimplify the way consumer devices interact with one another, helping people speed connections, receive and share information and even make fast and secure payments. NFC operates at a center frequency of 13.56 MHz and transfers data at up to 424 Kbps.
Toshiba's newly developed UIM card equipped with CDMA2000 and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), supports NFC, which is expected to go into commercial service in the near future. The card was developed based on the latest specifications of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute-Smart Card Platform (ETSI SCP), GSMA and GlobalPlatform (GP). It is also compatible with GSMA's Pay-Buy-Mobile programme and meets the security level required for international payment applications.
Mobile handsets supporting UIM and NFC will allow users to access services in such areas as electronic payment, transportation, personal identification, coupon redemption and more.
KDDI initiated verification testing on contactless IC technology subject to the ISO/IEC14443 Type A/B international standards in May 2010. KDDI used handsets supporting NFC in order to verify the technical reliability and user-friendliness of the application systems including electronic payment and so on, and Toshiba, which started to develop a UIM card in 2009, participated in the testing in order to verify the reliability of the UIM card and to establish the technology. In December 2010, KDDI approved Toshiba as a UIM card supplier for KDDI, and Toshiba will start delivery of the cards this month.
Toshiba is now ready to mass produce UIM cards for the global market and is starting to promote UIM cards to MNO worldwide, including operators in Europe, the United States and Asia.
Toshiba is now seeking to deliver a line-up of UIM cards that will offer users of mobile phones convenience and that extends its business area to network-based services around the world.