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Connected regulation

Near-field communications: emerging issues

Near-field communications, Emerging issues in media and communications, Occasional paper 2 ( Word PDF ) discusses the impact on industry, consumers and citizens of tensions in the current regulation of near-field communications (NFC).

Near-field communications (NFC) combine smartphone functionality, access to spectrum for wireless communications and apps. Some of its fastest growing uses in Australia include electronic and contactless payment mechanisms. NFC-enabled transactions straddle traditional communications sector regulation, but also involve the financial and retail sectors. NFC is one of a growing range of examples where digital communications are providing the foundations for economic transactions, and where former industry and sectoral boundaries are blurring in the economy.

The ACMA has a multi-faceted interest in the development of NFC. As the agency responsible for the management of Australia’s radiocommunications spectrum, the potential growth in the use of NFC has implications for future spectrum demand. 

By 2014, there will be an estimated 285 million plus NFC-enabled handsets in use in the world.  With more than 70 per cent of all Australians now using a smartphone, Australia is in a strong position for NFC transactions to grow.

As NFC-enabled transactions enter the mainstream, the ACMA believes that a single coherent regulatory framework would best protect consumers using NFC and related apps.

media release was issued on 5 June 2013 with this paper.

The other papers in the series are:

Mobile apps—Emerging issues in media and communications, Occasional paper 1.

The cloud: services, computing and digital data, Emerging issues in media and communications, Occasional paper 3.

Privacy and personal data, Emerging issues in media and communications, Occasional paper 4.

Last updated: 26 February 2015

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