The two companies, who have been working together to develop an NFC handset conforming to the GSMA’s Pay-Buy-Mobile specification, are to develop new handset platforms that will support enhanced NFC services.
Sagem Wireless, the new name for the newly independent Sagem Mobiles handset manufacturing business, has expanded its existing NFC development deal with Inside Contactless.
The two companies first started working together last year on the development of an NFC handset that would meet the requirements of the GSMA’s Pay-Buy-Mobile specification and are now to work together on the development of new handset platforms that will support enhanced NFC services.
The new Sagem Wireless NFC platforms will be based on Inside’s MicroRead NFC chip and will also incorporate the associated MicroRead Software Foundation NFC protocol stack, which Sagem Wireless has licensed, and which will be integrated and validated with Sagem Wireless’ handset platform software. It is expected to be made commercially available to major wireless operators and customers from the fourth quarter of 2009.
“Sagem Wireless is making a major commitment to NFC technology with the development of this handset platform, and we are pleased they have chosen to continue working with us and rely upon our MicroRead hardware and software for this venture,” said Remy de Tonnac, chief executive officer at Inside Contactless.
“MicroRead is the only NFC solution available today that is fully compliant with the single wire protocol standard, and its unique self-powered battery-off mode and low-power tag detection will enable Sagem Wireless to differentiate their offering for competitive advantage,” he added.
The MicroRead chip has a self-powered battery-off mode and a low-power RFID tag detection feature that enable NFC operations to take place even when the handset is turned off or the battery is completely drained.
“Inside’s combination of MicroRead hardware and software offerings and their design, testing and validation expertise will play an important role in enabling us to speed development and get our new handset platform to market more quickly,” says Thierry Buffenoir, chief executive officer of Sagem Wireless. “With Inside’s help, we are confident that we can deliver an outstanding NFC handset platform with a superior user experience our customers will appreciate. Therefore we will be able to develop innovative and specific projects for our customers enabling them to prepare the launch of NFC services.
In parallel with the new deal, Inside has also set up a new NFC laboratory near Paris that is staffed with a team of former Sagem Mobiles engineers with specialised expertise in phone system integration and validation, enabling the company to conduct in-house mobile phone RF performance testing and validation.
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