Takamatsu City Shopping Arcade, the longest covered shopping mall in Japan, is trialing Nortel wireless broadband technology to provide mobile Internet access, VoIP and smart card transactions for businesses and customers.
Nortel's Wireless Mesh Network will enable instant transfer of transaction data for the new IruCa smart card - a fare collection system for the Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railroad (KOTODEN) that can also be used for shopping as well as for bus and train travel. The Nortel solution will also provide high-speed wireless Internet access and VoIP services in the 2.7-km, 800-business arcade for wireless-enabled laptops and other communications devices such as PDAs. Nortel is working with channel partner NextCom in deploying and integrating the system for the Takamatsu trial.
"The use of smart cards for transport and shopping is a growing trend in Japan as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) begins looking at widespread adoption of the technology for a broad range of commercial and e-government services such as drivers' licenses and passports," said Nick Vreugdenhil, president, Japan, Nortel. "Takamatsu City Shopping Arcade selected Nortel's broadband wireless technology for this trial because wireless mesh coverage offers a cost-effective alternative to wireline infrastructure for transfer of IruCa card transaction data from the card readers in shops to the smart card's central settlement system."
The Takamatsu wireless mesh trial is a key component in a national "Digital Community Demonstration Experiment" project driven by METI to continue Japan's transformation into the world's most advanced IT nation. METI expects the Takamatsu City trial to help demonstrate how digitization can enhance convenience of shopping and traveling within the city, and help revitalize the economy of the Kagawa prefecture region bordering the Seto Inland Sea.
The Digital Community Demonstration Experiment for 2006 is being managed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation (NTT West) and will be featured at the Platform Business Area of the CEATEC JAPAN 2006 industry showcase and exhibition held 3-7 October at Tokyo's Makuhari Messe.
Nortel's Wireless Mesh Network solution uses wireless links - based on Wi-Fi technology - to provide secure, seamless access to wireless broadband services.
Nortel's Wireless Mesh network currently provides seamless and secure anytime, anywhere communications for students and faculty at the University of Tsukuba, one of Japan's major national universities. The solution was also granted the Best of Show Award, the special award in the mobile wireless product category, at the Interop Tokyo 2006 trade show and exhibition.