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10 Mobile World Congress Launches To Keep An Eye On

Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was the place to be for wireless, service provider and carrier-focused networking news, from LTE to service management and immersive multimedia. Here's a look at 10 launches that caught CRN's eye.

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Much Ado About NFC

Near-field communications (NFC) has been a hot topic for years but thanks to the number of devices launched at Mobile World Congress that come with NFC capability, it may not be long before NFC is table stakes for new smartphone launches.

Samsung, Acer, Huawei, LG and Nokia were some of the big mobile device names at MWC touting NFC in their phones. And other major corporations had NFC-flavored announcements, too; Visa, for example, confirmed a new service that lets financial institutions and mobile operators securely download payment account information to a smartphone using NFC.

"In effect Visa is doing what it’s been threatening to do for several years and expanding its traditional intermediary role in payments to mobile. The fact that it is also supporting non-Visa payments shows that the payments giant recognizes that ubiquity is the key to success in mobile money systems," Catherine Haslam, an analyst with Ovum, said in a note to subscribers.

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