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Nice Move for NFC

In what is being hailed as the first commercial near-field communication (NFC) service in Europe, a mobile payment service is being launched this Friday in the city of Nice, on France's Côte d'Azur, by Salt SA and others. (See Gemalto, Orange Team on NFC.)

NFC uses short-range wireless technology -- similar to Bluetooth -- that allows users to use their phones to make "contactless" payments by bringing their handset close to a compatible reader. The Rivera move is something of a milestone in the long and tortuous progress to launch mobile NFC services, and will provide some interesting feedback on user takeup of services. Orange, Bouygues Telecom , SFR , and NRJ Mobile, which is the mobile virtual network operator of banking group Credit Mutuel-CIC, are the mobile operators involved in the pilot. (See Gemalto, Orange Team on NFC.)

Other partners include transportation company Veolia and banks Société Générale and BNP Paribas, not to mention the Nice city council and local businesses. Digital security specialist Gemalto, meanwhile, announced on Friday that it is providing the NFC solution for Orange and NRJ Mobile.

"This project follows on from the 'Payez Mobile' pilot programs successfully rolled out in Strasbourg and Caen, with a new commercial dimension," commented Gemalto in a release on Friday. "In Nice, users take out an NFC mobile pack at their operator's points of sale, and activate the NFC payment service at their bank branch office."

Orange has been the only operator so far to make a formal announcement about today's launch, and said on Friday that it will offer the services using the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) Player One handset, the Korean manufacturer's first phone to incorporate NFC technology. The mobile operator is calling its Nice service "le Pass cityzi" and describes the Nice launch as the "dress rehearsal" for a nationwide NFC rollout in 2011.

— Anne Morris, freelance editor, special to Light Reading

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:35:08 PM
re: Nice Move for NFC

My impression is that it hasn't taken off here at all. Am I wrong?

Iluzun 12/5/2012 | 4:35:04 PM
re: Nice Move for NFC

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miar70 12/5/2012 | 4:35:03 PM
re: Nice Move for NFC There have been some trials, but to utilize NFC you need a small h/w modification that's similar to an RFID (small radio antenna) and it is usually hooked into an application stack running on the SIM card or the phone itself. This can be done by sticking it on/with the battery. Hence there have been some trials, but very few commercial launches. Nokia is aiming to roll the h/w & s/w into their handsets, but their market share in the US is eroding, so it will take some time...
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