Orange launches first SIM-based Android NFC smartphone in Europe

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Fourth phone for nationwide CityZi rollout

Orange has said that it will sell a contactless-enabled version of the Samsung Galaxy S II from October, making it the first NFC Android mobile sold in Europe, according to the operator.

The phone will be the fourth mobile available from Orange for customers of Cityzi, Orange's brand for mobile NFC services in France . Orange said this device version has been developed by the teams from Orange and Samsung in line with the specifications mapped out by the French mobile contactless association (AFSCM) and "relevant international standards".

The launch will, the operator claimed, make Orange is the first operator in Europe to offer a SIM-based NFC Android mobile using the SIM card to guarantee the security of contactless mobile services.

Orange has already committed to rolling out NFC-enabled secure SIM cards nationally, and has also previously stated that the Group is working with equipment manufacturers to ensure that more than half of the new smartphone models are compatible with the contactless services.

Orange has been marketing Cityzi mobiles throughout France since February 2011, making it one of the world's first mobile NFC offers on this scale. 

It claims to have attracted more than 150,000 Orange customers for services that include passes for local transport, payment in over 1000 partner shops, loyalty, couponing and tag reading.

Orange said that the Galaxy launch confirms its ambition to offer an "extensive" range of Cityzi mobiles, to enable as many of its customers as possible to benefit from contactless services across France. The existing device range includes the Samsung Player City and Wave 578.