Information Week writes in the US context:
The technology will likely make its debut in the U.S. in the next six to 18 months, says Osmo Hautanen, CEO of Magnolia Broadband Inc., a chip developer that puts “smart” antennas into cell phones sold by top service providers in Asia.
In fact, earlier this month Motorola unveiled its M-Wallet product, which will let people make purchases using their cell phones. Additionally, the technology will allow merchants to issue virtual loyalty or gift cards to customers’ phones. Motorola says the M-Wallet will work with almost any device or cellular network.
That means cell phones will become much more valuable not only because they’ll come with more capabilities, but also because they will contain sensitive information like payment mechanisms. “People will value and guard their phones the way they guard their wallets,” says Valentine. So, losing a phone in a taxi will a much bigger deal than it is today.
But before wallet phones become widespread in the U.S., there are technical barriers that cellular carriers have to work through. For one, they have to get good at mobile device management, which includes automatically updating applications throughout their lifecycle. And once third-generation cellular networks are widely deployed in the U.S., carriers will have a common communication layer that will allow them to deploy services like wallet phones.