Orange France begins nationwide NFC SIM rollout in the name of 'Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité'

NFC's potential uses are numerous -- contactless mobile payments, automated actions and content sharing to name a few -- but aside from its scattered inclusion in a limited number of handsets in the US and overseas, we've yet to see it truly take off. Cue Orange France. The wireless carrier's taking a non-traditional route to spur adoption by sidestepping manufacturers and bringing the near field communication tech to all 27 million of its subscribers directly. To do this, the operator's implementing Gemalto's UpTeq SIM, a secure NFC solution the company claims is on par with existing chip-based implementations. Going forward, the enhanced SIMs will be standard issue for new post-paid users throughout the carrier's home footprint, while current subs will have to contact Orange to specifically request it. Head on past the break to check out the company's official PR.

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Orange Launches Nationwide Deployment of NFC SIM Cards with Gemalto Solution in France
Paris and Amsterdam, Thursday 28 June 2012

UpTeq NFC high-end SIM to enable NFC-readiness for mass deployment of mobile contactless services

Orange, France's leading mobile operator with over 27 million subscribers, and Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security, announce the first large-scale rollout of a SIM-based NFC solution to enable NFC-readiness for mass deployment of mobile contactless services. Orange is the first operator in Europe to deploy latest-generation NFC SIM cards to its customers in France at a national scale.

With this deployment, Orange is pursuing the implementation of a NFC infrastructure on a national level that enables service providers to come onboard and massively deploy mobile contactless services.

The UpTeq NFC high-end SIM is first on the market to offer the same security level as chip-based payment or smart cards. Orange can offer service providers such as banks, transport operators or retailers an attractive, secure and scalable solution to deploy new and enhanced services to end users. The solution will allow any service provider to dynamically manage its own security domain in the card and to load, personalize and update its related NFC applications remotely over time.

Service providers will be offered a secure space on the SIM card, to manage and update their end customers' personal data, as within a vault. Orange subscribers will be able to download, activate and use NFC services on their phone and in an entirely protected environment. They will be able to access an easily expandable wallet of new NFC applications for payments, transportation, ticketing and loyalty programs.

"Gemalto is the first supplier we're working with for the deployment of NFC SIM cards at a national level," said Thierry Millet Vice President of Mobile Payments & NFC at Orange. "Gemalto's NFC solution is fully in line with our strategy to simplify and secure the use of mobile contactless services. We are committed to equipping our customers with NFC SIM cards and handsets. We are delighted to achieve a new landmark with this nationwide rollout towards our subscribers in France."

"Orange is leading the way in NFC roll out in France and in Europe. The UpTeq NFC solution meets Orange's qualifications at both national and group levels and our teams are on hand to support and accompany the mobile operator in its NFC strategy," added Philippe Vallée, Executive Vice President of Telecommunications at Gemalto.