The cities of Paris, Bordeaux, Caen, Lille, Marseille, Rennes, Strasbourg and Toulouse are to join Nice in the next stage of French plans to deploy a national NFC infrastructure.
Each of the cities is to receive funding from the French government in order to deploy innovative NFC services, although the amount of funding each is to receive has yet to be announced, AFP reports.
As of 1 January 2011, more than 3,000 people living in Nice had bought NFC phones so that they could take part in the Cityzi pre-commercial NFC pilot which launched in the city in May 2010. More than 1,000 local businesses are now equipped to handle NFC payments and the phones can also be used to purchase and validate public transport tickets, to obtain information on local services and to take part in mobile loyalty programmes.
In December, mobile network operator Orange announced plans to introduce commercial NFC services “in the majority of countries in which it has a presence” in 2011. In France, the company is to begin distributing Samsung’s Player One Cityzi NFC phone nationwide this month and aims to sell a total of 500,000 near field communication-equipped mobile phones in France this year.