Orange France to Put Three New NFC Phones on Sale

France Telecom-Orange will put three new NFC handsets on sale by July, including the previously announced Wave 578 from Samsung Electronics.

The other two models, a new 2G feature phone from LG Electronics, the T530; and a new version of the Samsung S5230, also a feature phone; will go on sale by early this summer along with the Wave 578.

In all, Orange France, which is the flagship mobile operator of the France Telecom Group, will have seven to 10 NFC models on sale by the end of the year, including one or more BlackBerrys from Research in Motion and another smartphone supporting Android, said Didier Durand, director of mobile contactless services for Orange France.

Orange, like a number of other mobile operators, especially in Europe, is insisting that the NFC phones they introduce support the single-wire protocol standard. This enables them to host secure applications on their SIM cards. Such NFC phones as Google's Nexus S and Nokia's C7 do not support SIM-based applications, at least not at present for the Nexus S. 

Orange and France’s other major operators are in the process of rolling out NFC phones at their shops, though they only have one real NFC model on sale so far, the Samsung S5230. The phone, which the telcos have used in their large multiplayer NFC pilot in the city of Nice, is known as the Player One in France. Few details were available about new features in Samsung’s follow-up to the S5230.

But regardless of the additional NFC phones to be introduced this summer by Orange and other French operators, subscribers will have few places to use them. There are few payment, ticketing or other NFC services available. The telcos say they are trying to seed the market with phones in advance of services.

The Wave 578 carries the bada smartphone operating system from Samsung. Orange in February announced it would introduce the NFC version of the phone as part of its goal to equip half a million subscribers with NFC handsets by the end of the year, a goal it likely will not meet. Together, major French operators had pledged they would sell a combined 1 million NFC phones by the end of 2011. 

The Wave 578 is a mid-tier touchscreen phone supporting such features as Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0 and fast data rates. Orange earlier said it would be able to customize the device with its Orange Signature services, including Orange TV Player, Orange Maps, Orange Messenger and the Orange Application Shop.

Orange will put the LG T530 on sale in July. While LG is expected to later introduce NFC-enabled smartphones, including those supporting Android, the T530 is its first commercial NFC model.

As NFC Times reported last month, LG announced the T530 NFC phone, along with two sister handsets not supporting NFC, with little fanfare in February. In April, the phone underwent RF testing to comply with U.S. Federal Communications Commission regulations. 

But the T530, which runs Java-based software, is not necessarily destined for sale in the U.S. market. NFC Times reported it would probably be introduced by Orange in France, among other markets outside of North America.

A source at LG told NFC Times that the T530 would be used in an NFC ticketing trial planned this year in Santiago, Chile, involving the city’s transport authority, Transantiago, and a mobile operator.

Durand, who spoke at the NFC Payment 2011 conference in London today, said he expected four more major French cities to hold precommercial launches of NFC services by the first part of 2012. That includes a pilot in Strasbourg, likely to launch in October of this year. Other cities Caen, Marseille and Rennes will follow with Nice-like pilot projects. And there are additional French cities officially planning to launch trials with multiple operators and service providers.

The French government has announced it will make up to €20 million (US$28.6 million) available to give French cities an assist in later rolling out of NFC services.

Durand said Orange intends to sell 1 million NFC phones by the end of 2012.


In-Depth: Persistent Consumer Security Fears about Mobile Payments Prove Difficult to Dislodge

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Results of yet another survey has shown that a significant percentage of U.S. consumers continue to harbor security fears about using their smartphones for payments, a stubborn problem that has hindered growth of mobile payments from the beginning.

Mobile Suica Still Accounts for Disappointing Share of Suica Users and Transactions in Japan

NFC TIMES Exclusive – While Apple Pay next month will mark the 5th anniversary since its launch in the U.S., there is another contactless-mobile payments service that is three times as old as Apple Pay–Japan’s Osaifu-Keitai, or wallet phones, which this year turned 15. 

Rome Latest Transit System to Launch Open-Loop Fare Collection; also Enables Monthly Passes with EMV Cards

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Rome has become the second major city in Italy–and one of a small but growing number of large cities globally–to enable riders to pay transit fares with EMV contactless credit, debit and prepaid cards and NFC devices.

Vivo Last of Major Chinese Smartphone Makers to Officially Launch NFC Pays Wallet

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Vivo, China’s second largest smartphone maker, made it official this week, launching its NFC-enabled “vivo Pay” wallet, the last of the major Chinese phone OEMs to roll out NFC payments–though their use has been disappointing, at least for payments in stores.

In-Depth: Fit Pay’s Troubles Indicate Difficult Business Case for Provisioning to Wearables

Sep 19 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –  Given the poor financial results of U.S.-based Fit Pay, it’s becoming clear that the business case for provisioning of payment cards to wearable devices remains difficult.

Analysis: Chase Pay Latest Bank Wallet to Shut Down; Why Did They Fail?

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Plans disclosed this week by JPMorgan Chase to shut down its Chase Pay app for in-store purchases is yet another nail in the coffin–perhaps the final one–for bank wallets in the U.S. And the situation does not look much brighter for bank-issued wallets abroad.

Miami Latest U.S. City to Introduce Open-Loop Transit Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight Transit officials in Miami-Dade County, Fla. are the latest in the U.S. to introduce open-loop payments of fares with contactless credit and debit cards and bank card credentials on NFC wallets, launching the service yesterday on the city's relatively small metro network, with plans to expand to buses later.

UK Tram Riders Take to Tapping with NFC phones to Pay for Fares, According to Early Results

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Transport for Greater Manchester, which last month launched open-loop payments on its large Metrolink tram network, said Thursday that contactless credit and debit cards and NFC wallets accounted for a combined 170,000 rides during the first four weeks of the service.

In-Depth: NFC Wallet Use for Open-Loop Transit Grows but Still Makes Up Relatively Small Share of Contactless Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive – When New York City transit officials announced Tuesday that the 1 millionth ride paid for through their new OMNY open-loop payments service had arrived ahead of schedule, they also proudly noted that 80% of the contactless payments had come from NFC wallets, not physical bank cards. 

PayPay Gets Off to Quick Start as One of Many Digital Payments Services in Cash-Loving Japan

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As Japan continues to fight what to date has been a losing battle against cash, an announcement by the joint venture behind QR code-based payments service PayPay offers a little bit of encouragement. 

Research Firm Projects Use of NFC Mobile Wallets in U.S. to Remain Disappointing This Year

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As Apple Pay approaches the fifth anniversary of its launch in the U.S., there is more research showing that most American consumers simply don’t see the value of tapping to pay with NFC-based payments services. 

In-Depth: Five Years After Transport for London Launched Contactless Across Its Transit Network, UK Open-Loop Rollout Remains Uneven

Aug 15 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Five years ago next month, Transport for London introduced open-loop contactless payments across its transit network, including metro, trams and commuter rail, following an earlier launch on buses. The service now accounts for more than half of all pay-as-you-go journeys and has become a global showcase for the technology.