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Isis mobile wallet network gets cooperation on standards

Trials still set for early 2012, as smartphone makers get on board

Many of the world's largest smartphone makers have agreed to make NFC smartphones that will work over the Isis mobile wallet network.

Isis, a venture of AT&T, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, announced the agreement on Tuesday. Isis listed the carriers that will introduce NFC-ready devices using its standards for NFC and related technology: HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility, Research in Motion, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.

Notably missing from the list are Apple and its iPhone and Nokia, which is already building NFC phones and moving to the Windows Phone operating system.

Isis also said that DeviceFidelity has agreed to add NFC functions to smartphones that are not NFC-ready to ensure a wide range of NFC devices that can work with Isis. That could include some smartphones already purchased by consumers.

Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile, said in a statement that the key to widespread adoption of mobile commerce is the broad availability of NFC-ready handsets.

Isis is planning to roll out mobile wallet trial projects in Salt Lake City and Austin in the first half of 2012.

NFC is Near Field Communications, a technology that provides short-range radio communications between a phone enabled with an NFC chip and an NFC payment terminal. Google last week announced Google Wallet using the Nexus S 4G phone from Sprint, which can communicate via NFC to MasterCard PayPass payment terminals.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected] .

Read more about mobile apps and services in Computerworld's Mobile Apps and Services Topic Center.

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