Nokia will use NFC to bypass carriers, analyst says

By , IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

Nokia Tuesday introduced
the Nokia 6212 classic, which features integrated support for NFC (Near Field
Communications).

NFC has mainly been seen as a technology for mobile payments, but Nokia has
bigger ideas.

The phone will start shipping during the third quarter, in select European
and Asian markets, and cost €200 (US$315).

NFC is a short-range wireless communication technology, with a reach of a couple
of inches. Advantages are ease of use and short setup times.

The technology allows photos and videos to be easily shared among NFC-capable
phones. The phones can also communicate with objects containing NFC tags, such
as posters or signs. The tags allow people to download content such as Web links,
audio files or contact data to their handsets, according to Nokia.

It's a statement that gives a glimpse of what Nokia plans for the technology,
according to Mark Newman, chief research officer at market-research company
Informa
Telecoms and Media
.

"I think Nokia will tie NFC into its own content business," he said.

With NFC, phones can communicate without establishing a mobile link, bypassing
carriers.

Nokia denies any such plans.

As a technology for mobile payments, NFC has been a success in some parts of
the world -- for example Japan -- and a nonstarter in other countries.

Japanese carrier DoCoMo
is so big it can get things moving on its own. In many other parts of the world,
according to Newman, it's a case of do the applications or the phones come first.

To spur mobile payments, industry organization GSM Association started the
Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative last November. The idea is to get mobile carriers
to adopt the same platform.

About 40 mobile operators are participating, and 14 will run trials, according
to David Pringle, a spokesman for the GSM
Association
.

"Orange France, Turkcell, Far Eastone and KTF are already up and running,"
said Pringle.

He hopes services will get rolled out toward the end of the year.

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