NFC technology to be tested ahead of Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Congress BarcelonaThe NFC devices can be used in contactless payment systems, as those used in credit cards and electronic ticket smart-cards. (Image source: Pierre Metivier)Nigerian telecommunications networks and mobile money operators are planning to test Near Field Communication (NFC) technology ahead of the Mobile World Congress

The event is set to take place on 25-28 February in Barcelona, Spain, giving global operators the chance to test out the latest technology that allows customers to make mobile payments with their mobile phones to a contactless device.

“We're excited to launch the NFC Experience for Mobile World Congress, as it provides attendees to the event the opportunity to experience first-hand the power of NFC technology both throughout the Mobile World Congress venue, as well as in the city of Barcelona,” said Michael O'Hara, chief marketing officer of GSMA.

“We hope that all attendees will take advantage of the many benefits of NFC, from venue access to retail transactions to transport, among others.”

The NFC devices can be used in contactless payment systems, as those used in credit cards and electronic ticket smart-cards, and allow mobile payment to replace or support these systems.

For example, Google Wallet lets consumers store credit card and store loyalty card information, then use an NFC enabled device at terminals that also accept MasterCard PayPass transactions.

Numerous NFC trials have been conducted since April 2011 with some firms having shifted to full-scale service deployments, covering either a single country or multiple countries.

Further expansion is expected this year for Nigeria's telecommunication sector, following predictions made by international market research firm, TNS.

Adeola Tejumola, West, East and Central Africa CEO for TNS, said, "The Nigerian middle class is expanding and fuelling growth in Africa’s most populous nation. They also are spawning the advent of new services such as fertility treatments, online retail stores, auto workshops and funeral homes. To them, it’s all about lifestyle. Middle class Nigerians would ideally make up the mid value telecoms segment and a significant part of the high value telecoms segment.”

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