Sprint Launching NFC In 2011, Ahead Of AT&T, T-Mobile, And Verizon

Sprint is planning to launch a commercial Near Field Communication (NFC) service in the US this year in order to compete against the Isis NFC joint venture of AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. The new NFC service would allow users of any smartphone on Sprint's Now Network to make purchases using their handsets.

Sprint's move to launch its NFC service this year will put it ahead of the Isis system which is scheduled for 2012. Sprint is also trying to differentiate its system from that of the Isis in its billing and revenue model.

Sprint's NFC service will not only be a more open solution, but it will also be taking revenue from coupon advertising instead of a percentage from each transaction. This aggressive fee structure and early bird strategy is likely aimed at garnering a large market share rather than actual initial profitability.

Additionally, customers will be billed on their credit card bills for NFC payments instead of on their cellhone bills. This should eliminate the shock factor of getting a high cellphone bill due to NFC charges and could also help increase user adoption of the new service.

We intend to make this an open solution where consumers can use their phone in a variety of physical locations," said McGinnis. "Because we're allowing other brands and other institutions to participate, they can also tell their consumers that this is available on Sprint.

Rather than take a percentage of each transaction, as Isis plans, Sprint could share in revenue from sales off coupons sent to its customers' handsets or targeted advertising, McGinnis said. Users' purchases would be billed through their regular credit-card statements."

[via Android Community]