KT to launch commercial NFC service with new Samsung handset, Android NFC devices to follow

KT, Korea’s second largest mobile network operator, is to launch a commercial NFC service at the end of October using a new NFC phone made by Samsung. The SHW-A170K feature phone is to be followed with a range of Android NFC phones and KT predicts that, by 2015, NFC phones will account for 47% of sales.

KT's Samsung SHW A170K launch
SHOW TOUCH: KT unveils its new commercial NFC service, set to launch this month

Korean mobile network operator KT has announced that it will introduce a commercial NFC service from the end of October 2010.

The service is aimed at professional workers in their 30s and at college students and will include payments, coupon and promotions, transport ticketing, customer loyalty and membership cards, gift card, balance enquiry and physical access control functions. Future plans include the introduction of NFC-enabled set-top boxes, vending machines and information kiosks.

Samsung's SHW-A170K NFC handset
TOUCH SCREEN: Samsung\’s NFC-enabled SHW-A170K

Subscribers will initially have the option of only one NFC phone, the newly launched Samsung SHW-A170K, but the operator plans to add a range of near field communication-enabled Android phones in the future. By 2015, 47% of all its phones will include NFC functionality, KT predicts, and the Korean mobile payments market will be worth US$145bn.

The new A170K is a feature phone which supports the single wire protocol (SWP), enabling KT to use an NFC SIM as the secure element in the device, and conforms to the GSMA’s Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative’s handset guidelines. Features include a 3.2″ 240×400 pixel display, Bluetooth, WiFi, a 3MP camera, accelerometer and support for T-DMB digital mobile broadcasting.

KT will market the new service under the Show Touch brand name and, according to Mobile Business Briefing, subscribers will be required to pay a monthly fee of KRW2,000 (US$1.80) to use the service.

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