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By Rich Handley

GlobalPlatform Publishes On-Device NFC Service-Management Specification

GlobalPlatform has announced that its Managing Entity Specification has been published, completing a stack of complementary software standards from ETSI and the NFC Forum. The new standard, according to the company, ensures that multiple mobile contactless services can coexist within a device and operate as intended, regardless of the hosting environment selected by a service provider. The standardized approach provides clarity to service providers offering NFC services in smartphones and other devices, and benefits OEMs developing devices that support NFC services.

Earlier this year, ETSI, GlobalPlatform and the NFC Forum reviewed their specifications on implementing and managing NFC services across all technologies and platforms. The output of this collaboration is a standardized approach detailed in a white paper titled "Ensure Interworking Between Multiple Contactless Card Emulation Environments."

The GlobalPlatform Managing Entity Specification is supported by the latest versions of ETSI TS 102 622 and NFC Forum NCI Technical Specification Version 2.0, which is slated to be published later this year. "The behavior of NFC services can be unpredictable due to a lack of implementation clarity, impacted by factors such as the model and configuration of a device," said Gil Bernabeu, GlobalPlatform's technical director, in a prepared statement.

"The framework provided by the stack of specifications addresses this," Bernabeu added in the prepared statement. "It offers a consistent approach suitable for the mass market to the deployment and lifecycle management of NFC services to ensure service delivery is not compromised by the external device environment. This level of uniformity not only brings benefits to service providers, but also ensures that consumers can activate NFC services as and when they need to."

The specification provides a mode that is backward-compatible to all secure elements already in the field. It supports the activation of multiple NFC services at the same time within a single device, independent of the hosting environment, and has the ability to detect potential conflicts. What's more, it details how to simplify the end-user experience when selecting NFC services for entities such as mobile wallet providers.

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