M2M specialist Gemalto has landed a deal to supply NFC SIM cards to Russia’s MTS for use with a mobile-phone based public-transport ticketing service in the city of Novosibirsk.
Gemalto’s Upteq SIM technology is to be operated in conjunction with Zolotaya Korona, a Russian payment and money transfer system, allowing users to pay for journeys on buses and the Novosibirsk metro by tapping their devices on an NFC reader.
Customers are to be charged for their journeys through the usual MTS billing arrangements.
Gemalto (Amsterdam, Netherlands) says that more than 95% of public transport turnstiles and terminals in the city are already equipped with NFC readers and that the new system has been designed to replace paper ticketing, helping to reduce queues at bus and metro stations.
“As NFC technology moves beyond the realms of contactless payment, transportation is emerging as one of the most important applications, and our Upteq NFC SIM is the ideal platform to deploy a wider range of services in the future,” said Thierry Mesnard, senior vice president at Gemalto.
“High profile deployments such as the MTS [Moscow, Russia] project in Novosibirsk will have a significant impact, getting end users accustomed to tapping their mobile phone to enjoy NFC services,” he said.
Gemalto’s service for MTS is to be produced and “personalized” at the company’s Moscow service center.
According to ABI Research, this year will see a surge in the adoption of NFC technology and services.
“We have reached a point of no return, from where NFC will be included within companies’ products, apps and services,” said John Devlin, a principal analyst with ABI Research. “The installed base will grow to half a billion devices and beyond.”