Five operators partner to accelerate NFC

BARCELONA, Spain--Five of Europe's largest mobile operators have agreed to collaborate on Near Field Communications in hopes it will accelerate the technology's prominence and make it easier for partners such as banks and retailers to deploy. The operators include Orange UK, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom Orange, Vodafone and Telecom Italia.

In an interview with FierceWireless, Daniel Gurrola, vice president, strategy and business strategy at Orange, said that the five operators met at Mobile World Congress and decided to work together. The deal will include developing standards for the various players but will not dictate business strategy.

Gurrola also said that Orange has committed to 50 percent of its devices being NFC-capable in the second half of 2011. The goal, said Gurrola, is to seed the market with devices so that the adoption curve is accelerated. He added that the solution will be SIM-based because that enabled portability and security.

Gurrola added that this initiative was decided at the CEO level at the operators, emphasizing the importance of NFC to operators. 

Related Articles:
French operators to deploy 1m NFC phones in 2011
Mobile payments: 'Non,' say French consumers
London first for mass-market NFC mobile payments, says Telefonica
Orange partners with Barclaycard for mobile payments launch
Can Google's NFC initiative trigger uptake of m-payments?