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First Large-Scale NFC Trial in North America
Posted: 15-Dec-2005 [Source: Cingular]

[NFC trial has sports fans visiting the Phillips Arena in Atlanta using their Cingular Nokia 3220 to buy concessions and access mobile content from 150 contactless POS readers deployed throughout the arena.]

Atlanta -- A group of industry-leading companies today announced an advanced Near Field Communication (NFC) trial for mobile phone applications including contactless payments, mobile content and premium arena services at Philips Arena in Atlanta. The trial is the first large-scale test of next-generation mobile phone applications in North America, and is the result of a collaboration between Chase, Cingular Wireless, Nokia, Philips, Visa USA, and ViVOtech, along with Atlanta Spirit, LLC, parent company of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, NHL's Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena. The trial has been designed to enable a secure, wireless system that simplifies payment and services for arena visitors.

During the trial, Atlanta Thrashers and Hawks season ticket holders with Chase-issued Visa credit accounts and Cingular Wireless accounts can make contactless payments at concession stands and access mobile content from numerous locations throughout the arena. Users can purchase items by simply holding their Nokia 3220 mobile phones equipped with Philips' NFC semiconductor chips and ViVOtech software near a secure terminal. Approximately 150 contactless point of sale (POS) readers have been deployed by ViVOtech throughout Philips Arena. For mobile content downloads, Cingular Wireless will be the carrier that enables these services to take place over its digital wireless network.

"By 2010, we expect that over 50 percent of all mobile handsets will incorporate Near Field Communication chips to enable short-range, easy and secure transactions," said Erik Michielsen, director at market analyst firm ABI Research. "As a result, consumers will be able to download content by simply holding their phone close to a poster or advertising billboard. Users can purchase merchandise, food, tickets, and have these transactions charged to a credit card using account information stored in the mobile phone. The NFC implementation at Philips Arena demonstrates NFC stakeholders, including chipmakers, card issuers, device makers, mobile carriers, and content providers, are progressively more willing to collaborate on NFC solution development. This type of co-development is essential to NFC market growth and maturation."

The contactless transactions will create faster and simpler payments at concession stands getting fans out of the lines and back to the game. At checkout, the phone is simply held near a secure reader and the contactless payment transaction is automatically charged to the user via the same secure Visa payment network that processes traditional credit card transactions today.

Fans will also be able to access and download mobile content such as ringtones, wallpapers, screensavers, and clips from favorite players and artists by holding their NFC-enabled phone in front of a poster embedded with an NFC tag.

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