France Telecom (Orange) claims to be leading the charge of NFC by deploying compatible SIM cards throughout its domestic market.
Working with smartcard firm Gemalto, the carrier today detailed what it says is the first large-scale deployment of SIM-based NFC in France – a rollout it claims also makes it the first cellco in Europe to put next-generation UpTeq NFC high-end SIMs into the hands of customers. Orange believes the deployment will boost provision of mobile contactless services in the country, by offering service providers secure space on the SIMs in which to manage end-user’s personal data.
Thierry Millet vice president of mobile payments & NFC at Orange, hailed the rollout as a “landmark,” and said more smartcard vendors will follow. “Gemalto is the first supplier we’re working with for the deployment of NFC SIM cards at a national level,” he says.
Gemalto’s executive vice president of telecommunications, Philippe Vallée, suggested the French contract could open doors to Orange’s other global markets, noting the UpTeq cards meet “Orange’s qualifications at both national and group levels.”