During a February 14 Mobile World Congress (MWC) press event, ST-Ericsson CEO Gilles Delfassy indicated that Internet devices will increase to 50 billion units. This means that in addition to existing Internet devices, there will be more devices capable of Internet connectivity, realizing machine-to-machine (M2M). Besides ST-Ericsson, many telecommunication equipment providers and communication hardware makers also showcased their M2M solutions at MWC. Though M2M is still nowhere near vast commercialization, with support from hardware players, the technology has strong potential.
Due to their longer development history, near field communication (NFC) and mobile payment will be the most promising M2M applications in the near term. Nokia, in the second half of 2010 announced that all its smartphones will have built-in NFC functionality. Since then, Samsung Electronics and other vendors have unveiled NFC models at MWC 2011, which is great news for the development in payment and security applications. The rise in NFC has also attracted more software developers and cash flow platform companies to the mobile payment segment.