KYOCERA Wireless Mobile Phones Excel in Cellular South WirelessWallet Consumer Trial
KYOCERA handsets equipped with Near Field Communications enable mCommerce for wireless purchases and paymentsSan Diego, CA -- (October 18, 2007) - Kyocera Wireless Corp., a leading global manufacturer of CDMA wireless handsets and devices, today announced the successful field-testing of handsets used in a groundbreaking WirelessWallet consumer trial by Cellular South. Equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, the handsets were used by consumers to make wireless payments and purchases in the nation's first multi-city trial by a wireless service provider.
According to Cellular South, a post-trial survey found that 87 percent of WirelessWallet testers are interested in using the mobile payment technology when it becomes commercially available. The survey, conducted by Insights Research Group, also revealed that more than 75 percent of testers were satisfied with their WirelessWallet transactions. The survey further stated that the vast majority of participants indicated the groundbreaking application was both easy and convenient to use. The trial results provided strong testament to the added value of NFC-enabled technology for consumers seeking innovative, simplified methods for making everyday payments and purchases.
"Kyocera Wireless is excited by the validation provided by Cellular South's consumer trial and the market opportunity for NFC technology. It is our belief that consumers are ready to embrace the benefits and ease of use of NFC-enabled handsets and related mCommerce applications," said Dave Carey, general manager of the Consumer Products Group at Kyocera Wireless Corp. "These results strongly support Kyocera's vision and early development efforts to integrate leading-edge NFC technology into an intuitive, user-friendly handset solution. We congratulate Cellular South on this milestone accomplishment and will build on this experience to solidify our position as an industry-leading provider of NFC-enabled devices."
Cellular South, the nation's largest privately held wireless provider, conducted the three-month trial in Jackson, Miss. and Memphis, Tenn. with partners Bank of America, ViVOtech and Mpact, Inc. Along with being the nation's first multi-city trial of its kind, it was the first to use the technology at multiple retail locations throughout the trial cities using MasterCard® PayPass™, and one of the first to successfully test the secure over-the-air download of credit card accounts. At the technology level, it was the first North American trial of its kind on a CDMA wireless network and the first to employ biometric security, with fingerprint scanners from Atrua Technologies for transactional security on the test handsets.
"We were very pleased with the performance of Kyocera's prototype handsets in this trial," said Suzy Hays, senior vice president of marketing sales at Cellular South. "As the end-user's ultimate touch-point and tangible interface with the WirelessWallet service, Kyocera's NFC-enabled handsets were a key element in ensuring a positive experience for our customers. Kyocera understood this and provided strong support throughout this successful trial."
Already popular in certain Asian and European markets, wireless mCommerce is expected to flourish in North America. According to industry analyst firm Strategy Analytics, sales of NFC-enabled handsets in North America will grow from virtually none in 2007 to 97.4 million units in 2011. Spurring today's development efforts, says Strategy Analytics, are aggressive "contactless payment" initiatives from MasterCard, American Express and VISA.
According to Cellular South, WirelessWallet will become available to consumers in early 2008. To learn more about Cellular South's WirelessWallet technology and trial visit www.cellularsouth.com/wirelesswallet.
About Kyocera Wireless Corp.
Kyocera Wireless Corp. is a leading supplier of innovative, feature-rich CDMA wireless devices and accessories for customers worldwide. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kyocera International Inc., which acquired QUALCOMM Incorporated's CDMA consumer wireless phone business in February 2000. Based in San Diego, Kyocera Wireless leverages Japan's history of creating advanced consumer technologies around humanism and respect for the environment and blending them with a Western entrepreneurialism and style, resulting in a unique design language and a natural, user-friendly interface. For more information, please visit www.kyocera-wireless.com.
Kyocera Corporation (NYSE: KYO), the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of advanced ceramics. By combining these engineered materials with metals and plastics, and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of telecommunications equipment, semiconductor packages, electronic components, laser printers, copiers, solar energy systems and industrial ceramics. During the year ended March 31, 2007, Kyocera Corporation's consolidated net sales totaled approximately US$10.8 billion (JP¥1,283,897 million) with net income of approximately US$895 million (JP¥106,504 million).