Press Release, News
The GSMA today announced that Korean mobile operators KT Corporation and SK Telecom have been named the joint recipients of the 2013 GSMA Chairman's Award. The Chairman's Award, established in 1996, is the GSMA's most prestigious award and recognises outstanding contribution to the growth and development of mobile communications around the world. This year's award recognises SK Telecom and KT for their pioneering efforts and leadership in driving the adoption of SIM-based mobile near field communication (NFC) services.
"KT and SK Telecom have been at the forefront of global commercialisation of NFC, catalysing the financial ecosystem for mobile NFC from an early stage," said Franco Bernabe, Chairman, GSMA and Chairman and CEO, Telecom Italia Group. "These efforts have not only led to an explosion in demand for NFC-based services domestically, but ensured that the country leads in the worldwide adoption of a single standard for mobile NFC. On behalf of the GSMA, and indeed the entire mobile industry, I commend SK Telecom and KT for their cooperative spirit and a commitment to making life-enhancing new mobile services for users everywhere."
NFC is facilitating a wide range of new applications for consumers, such as mobile ticketing to board public transportation, the exchange of information and content, control access to cars, homes, hotels, offices and car parks, and much more. With more than 21 million SIM-based NFC handsets, South Koreans have become avid NFC users, tapping their smartphones to purchase goods in shops and street markets, pay fares on public transport and access buildings.
The two operators have applied significant effort and investment to ensure compatibility of NFC technologies in their home market of South Korea and around the world. As far back as 2007, KT took the lead in the series of payment projects instigated by the GSMA to develop a single, global approach to enabling contactless payments using mobile, showcasing the SIM card as the preferred place to store payment applications. SK Telecom has been playing a similarly leading role over the last few years as the NFC Global Project leader in the GSMA's Mobile NFC programme.
SK Telecom and KT have addressed some of the most complex business and technical challenges necessary for the successful convergence of mobile and financial services, at the same time driving consensus among themselves, regulators, handset makers, payment card and financial services providers and point of sale suppliers. Through all of these efforts, and particularly by striving for international interoperability of mobile NFC services, the operators have forged the early history of mobile commerce. In the GSMA's Mobile NFC programme, KT and SK Telecom are continuing to share their expertise and experience with their counterparts in Asia, Europe and elsewhere around the world.