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Dial Up a Soda
Posted: 22-Dec-2000 [Source: Business 2.0]

[Buying a soda with your wireless phone is certainly more complex than the commercial's portray.]

by Scott Spanbauer -- "You may have seen the television commercial during the Summer Olympics--an Italian gent, coat over shoulders, is short of change at the soda machine. Enter stylish Italian lady who buys a beverage by pointing her phone at the machine. The suggestion is obvious: The cell phone will replace your change purse, and maybe even your wallet, before you know it.

"But don't toss out last summer's leftover lire yet. Even though location-based mobile commerce will undoubtedly take off in Europe well before invading North America, only a handful of phone-based transaction systems there have progressed beyond the pilot stage. And those that have--notably Virgin's U.K. soda-and-cellular synergy--are relatively low tech. Though you can buy a Virgin Cola using your Virgin Mobile phone, you do so by dialing a number displayed on the machine, and the drink is charged to your Virgin Mobile account.

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