Mifare emulation has been around for some years. Mifare emulation simply refers to an application running on a chip card operating system. The application emulates the native mifare chip and responds the mifare readers as if it is a mifare chip. Of course there are some considerations when implementing a mifare emulation. First of all, it is not native mifare and the terminal software needs to be updated accordingly to recognise the chip. Secondly, mifare emulation is not as fast as a native mifare chip so some parameters must be updated to transact with the mifare emulation applet.
These have been done since some time, but Gemalto has started a new era by implementing the DESFire application on a SIM/UICC. Even the owner of the technology -NXP, does not officialy have DESFire emulation yet. It’s a huge thing in terms of innovation. However there’s still some time before a DESFire enable transportation system is to accept an NFC handset device with a Gemalto SIM/UICC.
Gemalto has been aggressive on the contactless market almost since its start and this is clearly a result of it. Read the full press release here.