ETRI sets international standards for NFC-based internet communication

By | August 10, 2023

ETRI researchers participated in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) interoperability test event for NFC-based Internet communication technology./Courtesy of ETRI.

In a significant leap toward global standardization, Korean researchers have achieved a milestone in enabling Internet communication through short-range wireless technology, which was previously limited to a range of 10 cm.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) revealed last month, on the 21st, that its Internet of Things (IoT) low-power communication technology based on Near Field Communication (NFC) – known as RFC 9428 – has been successfully established as an international standard.

NFC, conventionally used for close-range device-to-device communication, has expanded its function to enable Internet communication in short-range wireless environments through the ETRI-developed standard “RFC 9428.” This advancement allows Internet-based communication between NFC devices, facilitating services such as payments, even without dedicated payment terminals, for the benefit of offline merchants.

Unlike the wider coverage of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, NFC’s communication range is limited, approximately 10 cm, which inherently increases security by reducing the risk of hacking. As a result, data transmission within this demarcated wireless communication zone is extremely secure.

Notably, this achievement marks the world’s first proprietary technology owned by ETRI’s Standards Research Headquarters. As it secures international standard patents alongside standardization, it is poised to serve as a catalyst for high-value performance in new payment and certification markets for both domestic and international IoT services.

Through the development of the RFC 9428 standard, ETRI’s researchers excelled in the interoperability test event organized by the European Telecommunications Standards Association (ETSI), strengthening the technology’s global recognition. The Asia-Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC), an international Internet address management organization, also praised the excellence of the technology.

ETRI remains actively engaged in standardization activities within international bodies such as the IETF and ITU-T, and strives to establish IoT-related international standards through the Ministry of Science and ICT’s Information and Communication Standard Development Support Project.

Kang Shin-gak, head of ETRI’s Standard Research Division, emphasized the importance of international standardization, attributing it to securing proprietary standard technology and patents. He highlighted the innovation potential it holds for the IoT field and its role in shaping the future market.

Furthermore, researchers foresee the technology’s applicability in various payment and communication scenarios across IoT’s various online and offline service domains that include smart homes, smart buildings, and smart factories leveraging contactless NFC technology.

The regular IETF meetings, held four times a year, draw over 1,500 experts from 50+ countries representing global companies, research institutions and academia, including industry giants such as Cisco and Ericsson. This recognized international organization is at the forefront of establishing Internet standards technology, having standardized over 15 international protocols, ranging from Next Generation Internet Protocol (IPv6) to mobile and IoT technologies.

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