Nokia Turns on the NFC Features in Its C7 Smartphone

Mar 23 2011

ORLANDO, FLA. ­– Nokia has enabled the NFC chip in its C7 smartphone for the devices it is shipping to T-Mobile USA, NFC Times has confirmed.

Marketed as the Astound in the United States, where it will be sold exclusively by T-Mobile starting April 6, the C7 smartphone will be able to do NFC tag reading and peer-to-peer communication, thanks to the upgraded Symbianˆ3.1 operating system in the phone, said a source. 

AT&T is planning to acquire T-Mobile USA, which is a unit of Germany-based Deutsche Telekom, though the deal still must get approval from regulators.

Nokia announced the phone today at the International CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, Fla., but did not disclose the NFC functionality in its press material. The phone’s menu, however, allows users to activate the NFC features, NFC Times has learned.

Nokia began shipping the C7 in October with an NFC chip inside, as NFC Times reported, but the Symbianˆ3 operating system did not have the software to support the NFC chip. 

With the NFC functionality now enabled, the C7 becomes the second NFC smartphone on the world market, after the Nexus S, which Google introduced in December. Update: Nokia is expected to disclose details of the availability of the NFC-enabed C7 outside of the United States by the third week of April. End update.

There are few Symbian apps in Nokia’s Ovi Store that support NFC, however. But an NFC application-programming interface and software development kit for developers to build tag-reading and P2P apps are available or soon will be, a source connected with Nokia told NFC Times. Nokia already sells a Bluetooth headset that is also NFC-enabled. Users could tap the latest version of the C7 to the headset for automatic Bluetooth pairing.

The NFC-enabled C7 cannot do payment or support other secure applications in card-emulation mode, at least not the version shipped to T-Mobile. The phone does not have an embedded secure chip and the Astound apparently doesn’t support applications on SIM cards.

But the NFC chip in the C7, from NXP Semiconductors, is likely able to support the single-wire protocol connection to the SIM card if ordered by mobile operators with the feature.

Nokia has said all of its Symbian smartphones shipped starting this year will support NFC, although Nokia will phase Symbian out over the next few years as it develops smartphones on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. The Nokia Windows phones are also expected to eventually support NFC.

HEADLINE NEWS

NXP Semiconductors Sues Marvell for Alleged Patent Infringement

Netherlands-based chip maker NXP Semiconductors has filed a patent infringement suit against rival chip maker, U.S.-based Marvell Semiconductor, which claims that Marvell infringed on four of its U.S. patents in chips sold to Microsoft for its Xbox One gaming console.

Spanish Airline Adds NFC Card Tapping to Mobile Booking App

Jan 28 2015

Spanish airline Vueling has added an NFC feature to its mobile application, allowing users to tap a contactless card with an NFC handset to fill in part of their card data, which they could then use to book a flight with the app.

OTI Announces Wave Attachment for Taiwan, but Actual Deployment Small

Israel-based NFC vendor On Track Innovations has announced the deployment of its NFC-enabled Wave smartphone attachment in Taiwan, targeted for the iPhone, though only 10,000 units are being distributed, and Apple has not yet approved an iOS wallet app used with the devices for a planned mobile-payments service by Taiwanese banks, NFC Times has learned.

Year Ahead for NFC: Tokenization, Apple Pay Expansion, HCE Among Trends to Watch

NFC Times Exclusive – 2015 will mark the first full year of Apple Pay and expansion of the payment service internationally, along with the coming of payment wearables led by Apple Watch, and the much needed maturing for host-card emulation and associated tokenization.

Softcard Cuts Jobs, Restructures, in Sign that Telco Owners are Losing Patience with Joint Venture

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Softcard’s jobs cuts are more severe than earlier reported, and the layoffs are a sign that the mobile carriers making up the joint venture have rejected a 2015 budget proposed by management of the struggling NFC wallet, NFC Times has learned.

NFC Forum Working on Specification for Tags Supporting ISO 15693 Standard

NFC Times Exclusive – The NFC Forum is working on a tag Type 5 specification based on the ISO/IEC 15693 standard, NFC Forum executive director Paula Hunter has confirmed to NFC Times. She did not release a timeframe for publishing of the new specification, however.

Poland Seen as Testing Ground for HCE, Though Timetable for Commercial Launches Uncertain

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – With its high penetration of contactless POS terminals and strong use of contactless cards, payment networks, banks and telcos have seen Poland as a t

Broadcom Announces NFC Chip Aimed at Automotive Market as It Targets IoT

U.S.-based chip maker Broadcom announced it is sampling a new NFC chip targeting the automotive market.

Top 10 Misses for NFC in 2014; Project Backers Look to Recover Momentum in 2015

Jan 7 2015

NFC Times Exclusive – While the NFC industry saw a breakthrough in 2014 with the launch of Apple Pay, the year also was marked by a number of disappointments and missed opportunities.

Banking TSM Joint Venture Announces Launch of Service in Taiwan’s Fragmented NFC Market

NFC Times Exclusive Insight: TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan’s banking joint venture, Taiwan Mobile Payment Co., as expected, announced the launch of its TSM service Tuesday, with at least 32 Taiwanese banks planning to make their Visa- and MasterCard-branded payment cards available to be downloaded and provisioned by the TSM.

Taiwan’s Telco TSM Joint Venture Announces Launch Plans, but Faces Market Challenges

Dec 30 2014

NFC Times Exclusive Insight: TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan’s mobile operator TSM joint venture Thursday announced plans to launch NFC service in the second quarter, following a trial within the next few months–though it remains to be seen when the JV will be ready for a full-scale commercial launch.

RBC: HCE Pilot to Lead to 2015 Commercial Launch; But Bank Says it Will Keep Hybrid Payments Service

NFC Times Exclusive – The Royal Bank of Canada plans a commercial launch of host-card emulation in 2015 following a small employee pilot of HCE payments, but declined to specify a date, head of payments innovation Jeremy Bornstein told NFC times in an interview.