BARCELONA, Spain, February 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As the first European operator to announce that we would deploy a new generation of SIM cards and handsets to facilitate mobile contactless services, Orange has extended its successful and long-term relationship with Samsung to deliver handsets enabled for NFC (Near Field Communications) firstly in the UK, France, Spain and Poland. The Samsung Wave 578 will be launched by Orange in Spain, Poland and France from Q2 this year before being rolled out to the wider Orange European footprint. It will be the first in a series of NFC-enabled handsets that will include devices from LG and Nokia, amongst others. Orange expects that by the end of 2011 over half of all new smartphone models to be added to its range for Europe will be optimised for mobile contactless services.
In line with Orange's strategy to give mobile customers the best possible access to content and new services, the Orange Samsung Wave 578 is equipped with NFC connectivity in a sleek and user-friendly design. It runs on bada 1.1, Samsung's operating system. Wave 578 enables fast data rates and easy information with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, and USB 2.0. The device will also feature Orange Signature services including Orange TV Player, Orange Maps, Orange Messenger and the Orange Application Shop. The inclusion of SIM-secured contactless capabilities will lay the foundations for Orange to enable a tranche of new services from partners in the future, ranging from mobile payment to ticketing and transportation.
Anne Bouverot, Executive Vice President, Mobile Services, Orange, said, "We are spearheading the third biggest revolution in the mobile arena, after mobile voice services and the explosion in mobile data. Mobile contactless services will change people's daily lives. We're very pleased that partners like Samsung are helping us to accelerate these plans. Our clear ambition is to create a vibrant eco-system and by combining our own mobile innovations with the best handsets, we can fulfil our vision of bringing new mobile services that will benefit everyone."
"Samsung provided us with the 'Player One Cityzi' handset which enabled the Cityzi service in Nice to become one of the world's first mass-market commercial contactless services," added Bouverot. "With the availability of new NFC-enabled devices from Samsung, and many more from our other handset partners to come in 2011, we are moving closer to a world in which we believe mobile contactless services will soon become the norm."
DJ Lee, Executive Vice President Global Sales & Marketing, Samsung's Mobile communications Business, said, "We are very pleased to offer Orange customers a strong product portfolio across fixed home and mobile. With the newly launched mobile contactless service, Samsung and Orange will provide true benefits of a smart mobile life to Orange customers. In 2010, we have really seen the relationship strengthen in the area of mobile multimedia as customers enjoy new offers such as the Samsung Wave, Samsung's own bada platform based smartphone and the popular Samsung Galaxy S, Android powered smartphone. This, in addition to the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Tab with customised Orange services, is a healthy and successful collaboration that stems from a shared desire to really focus on the quality of the customer experience."
Orange and Samsung are also working more closely than ever to give customers a simpler, richer experience and access to specialised customer care services.
The Orange Cityzi Pass in Nice, France
The Orange Cityzi Pass enables Orange customers in Nice, France to use Cityzi contactless services on their mobile handset. Services include local urban transport, payment in over 1000 shops, loyalty, couponing and tag reading. Orange Citzyi Pass is Orange's commercial service offering of a project called Citzyi (http://www.cityzi.fr), coordinated by The Association Francaise du Sans Contact Mobile (AFSCM). The project includes other operators - SFR, BYT and the MVNO NRJ Mobile - and service providers from various industries, such as BNP Paribas, Credit Mutuel/CIC, Veolia Transport, La croissanterie, Game and Franprix.
Mobile Contactless Services
Contactless mobile phones are a new generation of mobile phones, able to interact with their environment thanks to NFC (Near Field Communication), a short distance wireless connection technology. The phone is fitted with a "second antenna" that manages NFC exchanges and all you need to do is to move it near a scanner to trigger an action, such as validating a transport ticket, paying for purchases or accessing information, amongst others.
 Excludes UK