At its press conference at Mobile World Congress today, Deutsche Telekom — the German parent of T-Mobile subsidiaries around the world — mentioned that it’ll start launching NFC payment systems in handsets across multiple markets starting this year with full deployments in 2012. T-Mobile USA will be included in the action through the Isis initiative announced in late 2010 in partnership with AT&T and Verizon, but here’s where it gets particularly interesting: DT execs apparently name dropped Apple during the live event for a 2011 launch. Of course, there’s no shortage of rumors that the next-gen iPhone will include some manner of NFC capability, and it certainly seems like an Apple endorsement would work wonders in taking the technology to a new level of consumer acceptance. Follow the break for the full press release — it doesn’t mention Apple, interestingly, so it’s entirely possible that this was an executive slip-up. More on this as we have it.
The capability of mobile phones to act as an internet-connected near field RFID reader (NFC can access 13,56Mhz tags), may well go beyond the initial payment applications and start the much anticipated Internet of Things, merging the physical and cyber worlds together. The vision of IoT is explained at several sites, a good starting point is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_Things