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May 14, 2010

Near Field Communications Pilot Kicks Off May 21 in Nice, France
By Marisa Torrieri
TMCnet Editor

France’s mobile network operators and banks, plus Visa and MasterCard, the local transport operator, the city council and others are coming together are coming together for what’s being dubbed as “Europe’s first pre-commercial near field communications pilot.”

The NFC pilot in Nice, first announced in June 2009, will officially kick off Friday, May 21, Near Field Communications World’s Sarah Clark reported .

The goal is to see how French businesses and consumers will react to the availability of a real-world NFC service, Clark reported. 

Near field communications refers to a short-range, high-frequency wireless communication technology that allows for the exchange of data between devices over a four-inch distance. The technology has many benefits and holds great promise for future mobile data applications, such as mobile ticketing for public transportation, mobile payment and reading RFID tags on signs and coupons.

Though field trials of near field communication technology have been taking place in France for a number of years, the Nice pilot brings NFC phones to the general public for sale. However, the term “NFC” will not actually be used in marketing the service.

Rather, “the service will be marketed under the Cityzi brand name,” Clark reported. “A comprehensive set of technical specifications, built around the concept of an open platform, have been published and a detailed marketing pack, including a set of Cityzi logos that will be used to indicate the availability of standards-compliant services, has been produced for businesses wishing to offer services.”

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters . To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page .

Edited by Marisa Torrieri


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