Worldwide operators collaborate on NFC

Vodafone and Orange are amongst those to pledge their commitment to Near Field Communications technology by 2012 but the GSMA can't reveal where.

Mobile NFC

The mobile industry has joined together in an attempt to push forward near field communications (NFC) technology, but the regions to benefit still remain a mystery.

NFC is used for mobile payments and is already present in London's Oyster Cards and select credit cards.

It is now making its mark in the mobile space, with the likes of Orange and BarclayCard confirming the launch of an NFC-enabled mobile handset this summer.

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An announcement from the GSM Association (GSMA) also listed Vodafone amongst a number of international providers including Deutsche Telekom and China Unicom as companies who had made a commitment to launch NFC services in "select markets" by 2012.

However, when IT PRO asked which markets, the GSMA said it had not been given permission by the providers to share that information.

Franco Bernab, chairman of the GSMA and chief executive of Telecom Italia, said: "NFC represents an important innovation opportunity, and will facilitate a wide range of interesting services and applications for consumers, such as mobile ticketing, mobile couponing, the exchange of information and content, control access to cars, homes, hotels, offices car parks and much more."

Last week at Mobile World Congress, 3 confirmed to IT PRO it was also working together with its rivals to bring NFC to the market.

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"NFC is starting to get a lot of traction," said Charlotte Blanchard, director of products and services at 3.

"Operators are all behind it [and] we are starting to see manufacturers behind it as well. It feels like all the pieces are coming together."

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