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February 24, 2014

Sony's FeliCa/NFC technology implemented in Gemalto microSD cards

- Enabling handsets and smartphones with access to FeliCa contactless card services -

Sony Corporation today announced that together with Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, they have started to cooperate on the implementation of Sony's FeliCa™/NFC functionality in Gemalto microSD cards.

Sony and Gemalto have collaborated in providing solutions using FeliCa/NFC technology since 2012, leading to Gemalto's high end UpTeq SIMs, embedding FeliCa/NFC capability being released in the Hong Kong market. Now, by implementing Sony's FeliCa/NFC technology in Gemalto's microSD cards, the two companies intend to enable mobile handsets and smartphones to access various FeliCa/NFC contactless services, from e-money payment to transportation ticketing and personal identification.

Incorporating a contactless IC and an antenna, Gemalto's FeliCa/NFC equipped microSD cards will enable access to contactless card services simply by being inserted into mobile handsets and smartphones, including non-NFC handsets.

Sony introduced FeliCa functionality in mobile handsets for the first time in 2004. Since then, FeliCa technology has achieved large-scale commercial adoption across transportation, e-money payment, and ID services in Japan and many other countries. Furthermore, with the maturation of NFC technical specifications and the growing availability of NFC smartphones, Sony is expecting further expansion of NFC services worldwide.

Sony intends to accelerate the implementation of FeliCa/NFC in various secure elements, such as SIM and microSD cards, to expand the growth of easy-to-use mobile services using FeliCa across the global market.

At the Mobile World Congress 2014 to be held in Barcelona from February 24-27, FeliCa Networks, a subsidiary of Sony, will demonstrate a FeliCa/NFC microSD prototype being used with smartphones.

Structural overview of FeliCa-compatible microSD

For access to multiple card services a FeliCa-compatible microSD card simply needs to be inserted into a mobile handset or smartphone followed by the installation of the FeliCa application for each card service on the microSD. This structure can be applied to all mobile handsets with a microSD slot, including non-NFC handsets.
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