NFC technology has reached the real world stage. Following a successful 10-month trial, bus passengers in Hanau, Germany beginning today can now use their NFC-equipped Nokia phone to pay for bus tickets or use the phones as part of a loyalty program at retail outlets and attractions.
Nokia, Royal Philips Electronics, Vodafone and the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV), the regional public transport authority for the Region Frankfurt Rhine-Main in Germany, have announced that following a successful 10-month field trial, Near Field Communication (NFC) technology will be deployed in a commercial environment. Nokia 3220 mobile phones with integrated NFC technology can now be used as electronic bus tickets and act as loyalty cards for discounts at local retail outlets and attractions. Every one of the approximately 95.000 residents in the city of Hanau can now enjoy the ease and convenience of NFC for mobile ticketing in public transportation, simply with the swipe of their compatible phones.
Most people have their mobile phone with them wherever they go, so the possibility to use the phone to conduct daily transactions, such as transport ticketing and access to services, adds great value for consumers. The NFC enabled Nokia 3220 mobile phones have been tested by 160 residents for use in the public bus system in the city of Hanau. At the end of the trial, more than 90% of the trial participants considered this a positive, convenient system worth continuing.
Local Vodafone shops will offer the NFC-enabled Nokia 3220 handsets immediately for sale, allowing passengers to hold their mobile phones close to the reading device to enter and disembark from a city bus in Hanau. At the end of the month, the customers will receive an invoice from the local public transport operator outlining all trips taken, and the costs, which are calculated using the best available fares at the time of travel.
The results of the RMV trial clearly demonstrate that consumers like the simplicity of using NFC for secure payment and ticketing for public transportation in a real-city environment. As a key technology and market driver for NFC, all parties are extremely pleased to see the world’s first commercial rollout in Germany. The strong collaboration to deliver on the promise of the technology was key to the consumer acceptance. Technology should be easy to use and make people’s lives simpler and more enjoyable. With the commercial rollout of NFC in a variety of applications, the promise is being realized.
In addition to public transport ticketing, a newly introduced local leisure card – the “RMV-ErlebnisCard Hanau” loyalty card – will be incorporated into the NFC-enabled phones. This feature will enable mobile phones to receive discounts at RMV’s 14 selected retail partners in the area including restaurants, shops and local attractions.
Nokia is a world leader in mobile communications, driving the growth and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. Nokia connects people to each other and the information that matters to them with easy-to-use and innovative products like mobile phones, devices and solutions for imaging, games, media and businesses. Nokia provides equipment, solutions and services for network operators and corporations. www.nokia.com.
About Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund GmbH (RMV)
RMV is one of the largest Regional Public Transport Authorities in Europe which provides its services for five million inhabitants in the state of Hess/Germany. RMV is responsible for organization and co-ordination of the operation of regional rail services as well as for integrating long distance, regional and (sub)urban rail services in to an overall mass transit system, including 156 public transport companies. www.rmv.de.
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is one of the world’s biggest electronics companies and Europe’s largest, with sales of EUR 30.4 billion in 2005. With activities in the three interlocking domains of healthcare, lifestyle and technology and 161,498 employees in more than 60 countries, it has market leadership positions in medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, color television sets, electric shavers, lighting and silicon system solutions. News from Philips is located at www.semiconductors.philips.com.
Vodafone is the world’s leading mobile telecommunications group with operations in 26 countries across 5 continents, as well as 33 partner networks. As at 31 December 2005, Vodafone had 179 million proportionate customers worldwide. For further information, please visit www.vodafone.com.
About Near Field Communication (NFC)
NFC technology evolved from a combination of contactless identification (RFID) and interconnection technologies. NFC operates in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, over a distance of typically a few centimeters. NFC technology is standardized in ISO 18092, ISO 21481, ECMA (340, 352 and 356) and ETSI TS 102 190. NFC is compatible with Sony’s FeliCaO card and the broadly established contactless smart card infrastructure based on ISO 14443 A, which is used in Philips’ MIFARE technology. www.nfc-forum.org.
Explore more developments dealing with the implementation of Near Field Communications, a short-range wireless technology that promises to revolutionize contactless identification, payment, access, and more. Click to visit NFCNews.