New solution adds NFC functionality to legacy mobile phones using SIM card

A leading technology firm has created a solution which allows an NFC card emulation solution to fit into a standard SIM card form factor and still achieve industry-standard four cm proximity transaction performance. The new innovation from INSIDE Secure operates from within a mobile phone by reducing the effects of the metals and electrical noise typically found within these devices.

The core technology creates significant improvements over conventional NFC core technology, enabling four cm or greater contactless read distance in a mobile device with an antenna footprint of less than one cm square.

“[The] core enabling technology...will enable multiple new end products in SIM and microSD form-factors for use in legacy mobile devices, accelerating the adoption of NFC card emulation use cases within the currently deployed mobile phone market,” said Charles Walton, chief operating officer at INSIDE Secure. “This breakthrough technology provides a means of bringing NFC services to markets that might otherwise not be immediately reachable through smart phone sales, such as in Brazil, India and African countries, or for any market with a large installed base of legacy mobile phones.”

A standard SIM card containing the core technology chip, a secure element and an antenna that measures five by ten mm can be inserted into the SIM slots of legacy phones. Despite the antenna’s small size, phones containing the INSIDE solution will be able to communicate with contactless readers, just like standard ISO 14443 contactless smart cards used in U.S. contactless payment deployments.  The INSIDE Secure core technology may be embedded into other form-factor devices and integrated with other mobile device components.

“Until now, no one has been able to place a complete NFC solution, including antenna, into a SIM card, insert it into a mobile phone and have it perform well,” said Bruno Charrat, chief innovation officer, at INSIDE Secure. “The solution enables the creation of new products with very small antennas, less than one square centimetre, making feasible the commercial introduction of NFC enablement products using the SIM form factor as well as other inserted or embedded solutions.”

The potential market for products based on the patented INSIDE core technology is substantial. Many market analysts believe the total number of mobile phones in use worldwide is fast approaching six billion.

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