Nokia Introduces Its Second NFC-enabled Smartphone

Nokia has introduced its second NFC-enabled smartphone, the N9, which enables users to share photos, videos and music by tapping devices together.

The high-end phone, introduced today in Singapore, is Nokia’s first NFC device supporting the MeeGo operating system. It continues the Finnish handset maker’s push for what it calls “open NFC”–applications that don’t require a secure element.

A Nokia spokesman confirmed to NFC Times that the phone does not support card emulation or a secure element. Nokia said in its press announcement that the device enables users to “easily share images and videos between devices by touching them together. 

“Pair it with Bluetooth accessories like the new NFC-enabled Nokia Play 360° wireless music speaker only once, and you get a great surround sound music experience with just a tap,” said Nokia in a statement.

Nokia’s first NFC-enabled smartphone, the C7, a Symbian device, also does not support card emulation and does not have a secure embedded chip or support for SIM-based applications. Nokia enabled the phone for tag reading and P2P applications in April.

Among other applications, the N9 is expected to support the NFC version of the Angry Birds video game, dubbed Angry Birds “Magic,” which allows users to advance to additional levels of the game by tapping their NFC phones to NFC phones of their friends. The C7 supports the game as part of a Nokia-funded tie-in with Angry Birds maker Rovio.

The N9 features Nokia’s new screen design, which dispenses with a home key button. Users swipe their finger across the edge of the 3.9-inch AMOLED screen to return to the home screen. MeeGo, an open-source operating system that, like Symbian, supports Nokia’s Ovi apps, is part of the phone maker’s joint project with chip maker Intel.

In April, Nokia’s vice president for industry collaborations, Mark Selby, speaking at the WIMA NFC conference in Monaco, contended that NFC applications not securely stored on SIM cards, embedded chips or other secure elements will account for two-thirds of the revenue that NFC technology will generate through 2013. He did not release actual figures for the internal market estimates.

These “open” NFC services use tag-reading or peer-to-peer communication features on NFC phones, such those involving consumers tapping their phones on smart posters to download coupons or on packages to receive product information. Or they would tap tags to check in on social networking sites. The services also could include payment and ticketing using the NFC tag-reading or P2P modes, with security not on a secure chip but based in the cloud, said Selby.

Most payment and ticketing applications will be stored on secure chips, however, and Selby added in April that Nokia would also support them in future NFC phones.

“I’m not saying secure (element-based) NFC is bad,” said Selby. “(Just) do not focus exclusively on that area because it is the smaller (opportunity). Whether I’m talking about Groupon, Foursquare or Facebook, there is an extraordinary value, and NFC has a role to play in this.”

Nokia has said it plans to produce several more Symbian phones this year and next, despite its move to the Windows Phone 7 platform. Some of the Symbian phones are expected to support NFC. 

As NFC Times has reported, Microsoft plans to incorporate NFC in Windows Phone.

HEADLINE NEWS

While Interest is Growing in Going Cashless in U.S., Few Agencies have Accomplished the Feat So Far

The Greater Dayton RTA, which this month stopped accepting paper passes and tickets, will hit its Nov. 1 deadline to go completely cashless on board its vehicles, an agency representative confirmed to Mobility Payments.

Germany’s Largest Transit Operator Continues with Large Open-Loop Pilot on Buses; No Decision Yet on Rollout

Germany’s largest transit operator, BVG, said its pilot of contactless EMV payments extends to all of its nearly 1,500 buses, and the company has eliminated cash acceptance on board the vehicles, a spokesman confirmed to Mobility Payments. But officials in Berlin have not yet decided whether to make the contactless payments service permanent, he added.

Fairtiq App Sees Rising Usage as Covid-Era Riders Demand More ‘Touchless’ and PAYG Fare Options

Switzerland-based start-up Fairtiq said transactions for its fare-payments technology have more than double since February, as Covid-wary riders continue to seek what they consider to be more hygienic payments methods, as well as more pay-as-you-go options.

‘No Way We were Going to Ask for Half a Billion Dollars…’

Unlike other major transit agencies in the U.S., which have spent hundreds of millions of dollars replacing or upgrading their fare-collection systems, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has taken a different approach.

Apple's Digital Driver’s License Initiative Not Only One Progressing in U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Eight U.S. states will soon allow residents to store a digital version of their driver’s license or state identification card in the Apple Wallet, the tech giant announced, noting that the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, will accept the digital ID at airport security checkpoints and lanes. 

UK Bus Operator Go-Ahead Reports Cash Usage has Plummeted Because of Covid, While Contactless Transactions have Surged

The Go-Ahead Group, one of the big five privately owned public bus operators in the UK, said today it has seen cash usage on board the nearly 3,000 buses it runs in England outside of London fall to 23% of transactions, down from 53% three years ago.

Transit Operator Arriva Launches MaaS App in Netherlands; Hints at Expansion to Other European Countries

Arriva, one of the largest private transit operators in Europe, has launched a mobility-as-a-service app in the Netherlands, using white-label software from Israel-based trip-planning app provider

Cal-ITP: Agencies in California Could Hold ‘Several More’ Open-Loop Fare Payments Pilots

The California Integrated Travel Project, or Cal-ITP, is “on track to have at least several more” open-loop pilots or demonstration projects, a spokeswoman for the program told Mobility Payments.

Exclusive: Australia’s Transport for New South Wales Sees ‘Significant Increase’ in Use of Mobile Wallets by Riders

Mobile wallets now make up more than half of all contactless payments for Transport for New South Wales, Australia’s largest transit agency, the agency confirmed to Mobility Payments.

Start-Up Aims to Encourage More Taxi Drivers to Accept Bank Cards for Fares in Turkey

A Turkish start-up hopes to entice more taxi drivers to accept contactless credit and debit cards using SoftPOS terminals on Android smartphones, under a scheme being rolled out by the local fintec

Moscow Metro Launches Test of Facial Recognition Fare Payments Ahead of Rollout; Agency Says Masks Can Slow Verification

Moscow Metro announced that it is officially testing facial recognition-based fare payments at turnstiles, with plans to roll out the technology by the end of the year.

Major Transit Agency to Test Virtual Closed-Loop Cards with Google Pay

Aug 8 2021

Moscow Metro is launching a trial of a virtual version of its closed-loop Troika card that will be added to the Google Pay wallet, the agency announced Wednesday.