NFC, IoT and Security – the big three at MWC

  • Oleg Kosine, Head of P&S Marketing at Vendors

  • 24.02.2017 12:15 pm
  • undisclosed

Mobile World Congress brings together the biggest names in mobile, and the build up to Barcelona is always dominated by talk of ‘big-ticket’ product launches.

To be successful, however, mobile technology must be both secure and interoperable. It may be less glamorous, but hacks and failures can have a catastrophic impact on a brands’ image, reputation and, ultimately, their bottom-line.  

So, behind the attraction of the latest VR solution and mobile handset launches, what will be the hot topics critical to achieving deployment success?

  1. NFC – here to stay

No one can argue that near field communication (NFC) is gaining traction and is being adopted by consumers. The market is predicted to top $21 billion by 2021, driven in part by the ever-increasing availability of NFC-enabled smartphones, the launch of the big name ‘Giant Pay’ mobile payments platforms and an expanding global contactless infrastructure. 

Wearable payments also represent a huge growth opportunity for NFC technology. The current success of wearables has undoubtedly been built on health and fitness. But with 50% user abandonment after 12 months, device manufacturers are looking to expand functionality beyond health and fitness to drive long-term adoption. And the ability of wearables to streamline the transaction process means that NFC payments are central to this strategy.  

Yet to ensure a consistent and secure experience across all form factors, products need to undergo functional and security testing in a manner that is commercially feasible. ‘Integration’ is key to control investment without limiting advances. 

  1. eSIM – securing the future of IoT

From connected cars to smart toasters, it is clear that the age of IoT is upon us. The industry is now faced with the unprecedented challenge of deploying and securing billions (potentially trillions) of connected devices. 

For many, the embedded SIM (eSIM) is essential to stabilizing the ecosystem. eSIM is a non-removable component that supports remote provisioning capability. This means that IoT solutions can be updated to ensure continued security, functionality and convenience, without having to change the SIM.  

As so many players are converging in this space, the future of IoT is dependent on the industry’s ability to establish and implement a robust testing framework to ensure the conformance and interoperability of the eSIM across multiple stakeholders and use-cases.

  1. TEE – ensuring device security

Don’t underestimate the role of consumer confidence in technical innovations. Security fears can become a barrier to using an application. Yet to be over secure can restrict functionality and performance. The mobile industry is walking a constant tightrope to balance these two elements.

The Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) is a secure area of the main processor of connected devices that ensures sensitive data is stored, processed and protected in an isolated, trusted environment. While it offers protection against software attacks, assists in the control of access rights and houses sensitive applications, it also delivers a good level of functionality.

The TEE is not new, but it is becoming recognized as a security basis for mass market mobile service deployments.

Time to market

All these conversations have one key element in common: how to get products to market effectively and successfully, while avoiding risks.

Evolving the testing landscape to accommodate new features, while ensuring backward compatibility with the existing infrastructure is vital in any new product launch strategy. When a new disruptive feature is added, everyone is looking to understand the impact.

Creating an agile testing process that can reflect market trends is fundamental if the mobile industry wants to continue its dynamic evolution within a sustainable and secure infrastructure.

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