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NOL Card goes mobile
by NFC Admin, Mittwoch, 2 Oktober 2013
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced its partnership with Etisalat & du to launch its first ‚Smart Nol‘ Service for Dubai commuters utilizing public transport. Smart NOL enables smoother travel and accessibility via NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled mobile phones. Commuters can utilize RTA’s Smart NOL technology by placing their mobile devices against the card readers at the passing gates of the metro stations, or validator devices onboard public buses and water buses.
The technology behind NOL is NXP’s MIFARE DESFire Card/Chip. MIFARE DESFire is designed as a contactless CPU card with fixed functionality for fast and secure contactless transactions, which are required in public transportation. Transaction time — which is key in this business — is very likely to require hardware support for the crypto and memory access functions. Therefore implementing MIFARE DESFire for example as a Java Card applet using the ISO-Wrapping mode will not provide sufficient performance.
Currently SIM cards from Gemalto,G&D, Oberthur, etc. already support licensed MIFARE products and therefore opting in for such a widely adopted technology definitely makes sense for the MNOs. The cost for UICCs with licensed MIFARE product technology should not represent an investment hurdle to MNOs as a pay per activation model is in place.
NXP’s competitor in this field — OSPT (Open Standard for Public Transport) — actually offers their “open” technology for free. When having a closer look at the specification, it turns out that a proprietary key derivation is used which requires license fees to be paid. In order to do this as quickly as possible, hardware accelerators are very likely needed and additionally, SAMs with the same key derivation are required on the terminal side. So there is no real advantage over MIFARE DESFire, as OSTP members who want to sell products also have to pay member ship fee. Getting access to the documentation requires to sign up as an associate member which includes being published as member on the OSPT homepage.
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