Confusion reigns over NFC services @ MWC 2013

Rating: The list of NFC handsets has gone AWOL

We’re glad to discover, here at GoMobile Towers, that it wasn’t just us who has been blissfully unaware that Motorola’s RAZR i (with Intel inside) actually supports NFC [Near Field Communication]. We’ve written about our experiences with NFC and the RAZR i previously here. However, the GSMA – which organises the world’s largest cellular and mobile conference in the shape of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, plans to focus big time on NFC at the next show in February [2013]. To this end, the GSMA had produced a list of handsets which ‘already support’ NFC to help attendees. It was formerly found here. It has temporarily disappeared. The list was useful because with the Android OS at least, it isn’t immediately obvious which handsets really do offer NFC support.

Curiously, the RAZR i wasn’t on the original list – which is rather strange because three other Motorola handsets were actually named.

Currently [January 14th 2013],  if you visit the web page specifically devoted to ’The NFC Experience at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2013‘  clicking on ‘NFC-enabled handsets’ takes you nowhere.

Why would you want to possess an NFC-enabled handset at MWC 2013?

One jolly good reason is that it is theoretically possible to get a “Virtual NFC badge – enabling instant onsite access [to MWC 2013] via your handset.”

Significantly, the GSMA mentions the fact that some people will be “selected to receive the official NFC-enabled handset.” It then says, “handsets will be available to pre-selected attendees only.”

When you register for MWC here you should see an option to opt for an NFC badge.

The organisers say if you are already pre-registered, you should visit the My Registration Home page here to try to opt in for an NFC badge.

GoMobile News tried this and could not see the NFC symbol to click on it. We suspect that journalists aren’t amongst the targeted attendees.

The GSMA does not say specifically what model the ‘offical’ handset is, nor who qualifies for one.

Could GoMo humbly suggest C-level attendees with iPhones? They are all going to be left out in the cold for sure.

This RAZRi’s omission from the original list has goaded GoMobile News into contacting PR people to see if they know why this handset wasn’t listed.

And to ask Motorola’s tech support why a particular NFC function – namely triggering the browser to open a specific URL, doesn’t seem to work with our RAZR i.

Incidentally – for Android owners, try going to the ‘Settings’ menu and then selecting ‘More’.

You should find an option for turning NFC on, along with a facility called Android Beam, if your handset supports NFC.

About Hans Cett

Hans Cett is an established freelance author and consultant specialising in the mobile communications industry. He also writes for Countdown2MWC - http://countdown2mwc.wordpress.com/
This article was published in MWC, Motorola, NFC and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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