Mobile payments are nothing new to the people of Japan, who've used NTT DoCoMo's Osaifu-Keitai as the de facto standard for years. Based on Sony's FeliCa smart card, the system is incompatible with the NFC Type A and B technologies that are spreading across the globe. Hence, there's a growing concern for interoperability in the Land of the Rising Sun, prompting NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank to establish the Japan Mobile NFC Consortium in an effort to keep pace. Moving forward, the three carriers will work with suppliers and manufacturers to guarantee a smooth transition to the Type A and B standards, ensuring that future handsets will speak the proper NFC lingo throughout the world. Full PR is just after the break.

[Tokyo photo via Shutterstock]
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DOCOMO, KDDI and SOFTBANK Establish Consortium to Promote NFC Services Compatible with Multiple International Standards Partnerships

TOKYO, JAPAN, December 21, 2011 --- NTT DOCOMO, INC., KDDI CORPORATION and SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. announced today their establishment of Japan Mobile NFC Consortium to coordinate the adoption of multiple international standards for near field communication (NFC) technologies incorporated in their mobile devices and services.

Japan's three mobile operators already offer Osaifu- Keitai™ (wallet phone) mobile services based on the contactless-IC smartcard called FeliCa®. Overseas, however, mobile operators and service providers are increasingly adopting Type A and Type B standards to develop growing markets for NFC services. In view of this worldwide trend, the consortium intends to work with mobile industry groups in Japan, including service suppliers and handset manufacturers, to incorporate compatibility with the Type A and B standards in the Japanese mobile ecosystem.

By ensuring compatibility with multiple NFC standards, the consortium aims to:

- Free mobile users in Japan, both residents and international travelers, from having to concern themselves about different NFC service standards.

- Create an environment in Japan where service providers can offer efficient, low-cost NFC services based on common standards and rules adopted by the three mobile operators.

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NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank found consortium to support global NFC standards in Japan