All new contract customers to get contactless tech, regardless of device.
The confusion over who has control of the secure element in an NFC chip, and where it resides, keeps rumbling on.
Handset companies put it in their devices, some OTT firms are trying to put it in a sticker or SD card, while operators want to keep it on the SIM.
This move by Orange, with tech firm Gemalto, is a big play by a major operator to seize the initiative.
We shouldn't be surprised it's Orange, given the fact that the firm was first into NFC payments in the UK with its QuickTap service, and has a major project under way around the tech called CityZi in Nice.
Of course, Orange's SIMs will only work in phones that are NFC-enabled. At present that includes some BlackBerrys and newer Android devices. But not iPhone. Orange has sold 500,000 NFC devices to date.
So now Orange has to convince third parties like banks, retailers and transport operators for create apps that will reside on the SIM. They can then dynamically manage their own security domain in the card and load, personalise and update NFC apps remotely over time.
Orange describes the launch as the 'implementation of a NFC infrastructure on a national level that enables service providers to come onboard and massively deploy mobile contactless services.'
Orange has opcos in 33 countries across Europe and Africa, and will look to roll out this functionality in the future.