Nokia has announced that Orange UK will be the first operator to stock its Near Field Communication (NFC) version of the recently-launched Nokia Lumia 610, the most affordable smartphone in the Lumia range and the perfect introduction to Windows Phone for the youth market.
The NFC is a feature which makes it easy for compatible devices to instantly connect and interact with other phones, devices and interactive tags, thereby allowing for easier sharing of media – photos, videos and music among others.
The Lumia 610 NFC also has the hardware and software enablers for the implementation of NFC payment and ticketing solutions, and has been certified for contactless payments both with MasterCard PayPass technology as well as with Visa’s mobile application for payments at the point of sale, Visa payWave.
“Nokia continues to lead the field in NFC with this latest implementation on the Windows Phone platform, in which we have the full support of Orange. We’re bringing NFC right across our portfolio, and together with our ever-growing range of NFC accessories we’re making it easy for people to connect via a single tap,” said Ilari Nurmi, head of product marketing at Nokia’s Smart Devices business unit in a press release.
Nurmi added that the partnership with Orange is part of the device maker’s focus to enable operators and other service providers to build NFC payment and ticketing solutions on top of Nokia smartphones.
“Orange is committed to rolling out mobile NFC services in all its European territories and as part of this goal we’re very excited to be the first operator to launch the Lumia 610 NFC. The Nokia Lumia smartphones have been very well received by Orange customers,” said Yves Maitre, Orange’s senior VP for Mobile Multimedia and Devices, adding that Orange “is now going one step further and adding an NFC-enabled handset to this popular range of devices, enabling people to use contactless services via a single tap.”
MasterCard PayPass technology provides consumers with a fast and convenient alternative to cash at the point of sale for their everyday purchases. Devices certified by MasterCard, such as the Lumia 610 NFC, go through a rigorous testing process by a MasterCard accredited laboratory to ensure they will work seamlessly with the PayPass network.
“We are excited to have certified the Lumia 610 NFC for use with our industry-leading PayPass technology, joining other Nokia smartphones helping consumers choose when, where and how they shop on devices they own and love,” said Mung Ki Woo, Mobile group executive at MasterCard.
The Lumia 610 NFC is expected to be available early in the third quarter of 2012.
Ken Oyolla, Nokia’s head of global market activation said that the Lumia 610 would be available in other markets – including Africa – later in 2012, adding that prices would only be disclosed by specific operators in the various markets.
Apart from Nokia, Orange has distribution partnerships with other global device brands – including Apple whose handsets are stocked by all Orange subsidiaries globally.