SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Asian Telecom Operators Form Asia NFC Alliance

-- International NFC Alliance to promote convenient cross-border mobile NFC services

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Asian telecom operators Chunghwa Telecom (Taiwan), HKT (Hong Kong), KDDI (Japan), and SK Planet (South Korea) are jointly announcing the formation of the Asia NFC Alliance, with the support of the GSMA, today at MWC 2014. The Alliance aims to extend existing NFC services beyond national borders to further accelerate the adoption of convenient and compatible NFC services worldwide.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140225/NY71512)

"Formation of this Alliance aims to expand the service coverage of individual telecom operators in creating a seamless experience for the consumers while travelling across national borders. As of today, Alliance members include the major telecom operators from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Our near-term goal is to promote common standards and a technology development platform for new applications, beginning with the domestic markets of our members. In the long term, we hope to expand this NFC Alliance into a global organization to create convenient services across borders worldwide," said Lin, Kuo-Feng, Chairman of Asia NFC Alliance.

"The GSMA is delighted to support the Asia NFC Alliance, as it endeavors to accelerate the deployment of NFC services in Asia. Cross operator interoperability, and common platforms to easily develop and deploy services are key enablers to attract service providers and grow the NFC ecosystem. By working together with the Asia NFC Alliance, we hope to lay down a solid foundation for subscribers to experience a wealth of top quality NFC services across Asia – and to build best practice for other regions," said Pierre Combelles, Business Lead, Digital Commerce, GSMA.

Convenient mobile NFC services are already being offered for a variety of applications in several countries independently, presenting travel information, online booking of tickets and hotels, coupon download, mobile payment and more. However, these NFC services are currently limited to mobile operators within their home markets. There has, however, recently been a joint cooperation between KDDI and CHT offering a smart poster service in tourist shopping areas, and NFC coupons from KDDI and SK Planet.

The Asia NFC Alliance wishes to expand the service coverage of these mobile operators from within a single country to the whole Asian region, and furthermore to provide global mobile NFC services across industries, including transportation, retail, finance, and tourism etc. Subscribers will be able to access convenient and compatible NFC applications across national borders to enjoy a mobile lifestyle on their NFC-enabled handsets, whether in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea or other countries in the future.

The Asia NFC Alliance has proposed three-stage development goals: to develop international compatibility of NFC technology; to serve as an information platform for NFC development; and finally, to attract more members from the industry, to fulfil the ultimate goal of collaboration in providing a border-less mobile NFC service across industries.

Quotes from all members

"The founding of the Alliance is an important step forward in the development of cross-border NFC mobile services, bringing to our customers the greatest benefits while traveling aboard, as well as to visitors to Hong Kong."

-- Richard Midgett, Managing Director of Wireless Business
HKT

"We hope that this alliance will be an open organization for the expansion of overseas cooperation services. We aim to actively promote collaboration with telecommunications carriers not only in Asia but in Europe and America, and create a world in which users in every country can avail themselves of NFC services."

-- Takashi Tanaka, President
KDDI

"Many exciting services will launch with NFC Alliance. SK Planet will actively participate with Smart Touch (Open TSM) and Mobile Commerce Services."

--JH Kah, CEO
SK Planet International

"Taiwanese and Asian consumers mostly have high acceptance in the latest technology, so mobile NFC applications have gained widespread attention and expectation in Asia markets. With the foundation of the Alliance, we will work collaboratively on the seamless and complete NFC experience from domestic area to Asia!"

--LIN, Kuo-Feng, President
Chunghwa Telecom Mobile Business Group

About the Asia NFC Alliance

The Asia NFC Alliance was established in 2014 by mobile operators in Asia to offer safe and seamless coverage across borders for Asian consumers to enjoy all kinds of services with their mobile devices, anytime, anywhere, without geographic restrictions. The founding members are CHT (Taiwan), HKT (Hong Kong), KDDI (Japan), and SK Planet (South Korea), with the support of the GSMA.

About HKT

HKT (SEHK: 6823) is Hong Kong's premier telecommunications service provider. It meets the needs of the Hong Kong public and local and international businesses with a wide range of services including local telephony, local data and broadband, international telecommunications, mobile, and other telecommunications businesses such as customer premises equipment sale, outsourcing, consulting and contact centers. Together with the highly successful media business of its parent company, PCCW Limited, HKT offers innovative media content and services across the PCCW Group's unique quadruple-play platforms – fixed-line, broadband Internet access, TV and mobile.

About KDDI

Based in Tokyo, Japan, KDDI Corporation is a leading global communication service provider and has number of overseas offices are 100 in 28 countries. KDDI offers quality services and effective solutions for both consumer and business partners. KDDI's brand "au" delivers mobile and fixed-line services facilitating convenient and effortless communication experience for consumers in Japan. With multitude of and ever-expanding ICT realm ranging from FMC networks to data centers, applications and security strategies strengthen KDDI's business clients. KDDI group strives forth another step closer to become a truly global company through diversity, integration and persistent expansion into international community.  http://global.kddi.com 

About SK Planet

SK Planet, established in October 2011 as a wholly owned subsidiary of SK Telecom, leads the revolution of online and mobile service platform with its Digital Contents, Integrated Commerce and Advertising & Marketing Businesses.

About Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd

Chunghwa Telecom (TAIEX 2412, NYSE: CHT) is the leading telecom service provider in Taiwan. Chunghwa Telecom provides fixed line, mobile, Internet, and data services to individual and business clients in Taiwan.

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