TeliaSonera and Västtrafik tests new mobile technology in Gothenburg

– travelers receive traffic information and SMS tickets via "touch-technique" Next year, TeliaSonera and Västtrafik are planning to test in the Gothenburg area a brand new way to use mobile phones. The technology is called Near Field Communication and entails that the traveler holds their telephone up to an information board at the stop to receive traffic information, timetables or purchase a SMS ticket.

TeliaSonera has participated in the development of Near Field Communication (NFC), which is an international standard. NFC can best be described as a type of Bluetooth that works over short distances.

“The new mobile technology is very easy to use and gives us the possibility to offer our travelers an even higher level of service,” says Mats Lilienberg, Head of IT at Västtrafik AB. “By sending up-to-date information to intelligent information boards, our travellers can always have access to current information. It will be exciting to conduct this test with TeliaSonera.”

The services that are planned to be included in the test are departure information, purchase of SMS tickets and general traffic information. All travelers need to do is hold their mobile close to a symbol on the information board at the stop.

“The new public transportation services for mobiles are additional examples of how mobile telephones are useful in our daily lives,” says Lars Klasson, CTO and VP Mobility Services at TeliaSonera. “I look forward to seeing what the test group thinks about the new services and learning from Västtrafik’s experiences in a real traffic environment.”

The tests will start during the first quarter of 2008 and will be evaluated continuously. A test group with a mix of different types of travelers will be chosen and given mobile telephones with NFC functionality. Intelligent information boards (Smart posters) will be set up at a number of stops in the Gothenburg area. An additional function that will be tested is that travelers will be able to listen to some information via their mobiles instead of reading the text on their screen. NFC technology gives Västtrafik the environmental-friendly possibility to offer its customers access to information without needing to continuously print out and replace information at the stops.

About Near Field Communication, NFC:

NFC is based on a combination of electronic transmission standards known from the chip card industry. The technology allows electronic transmission of data across distances of up to 10 cm. The NFC standard incorporates important security features required for the transmission of sensitive data for identification, ticketing and payment. Data are transmitted at a frequency of 13.56 MHz. NFC is standardized in the following norms: ISO 18092, ISO 21481, ECMA (340, 352 and 356) and ETSI TS 102 190. The technology is compatible with the international chip card standard ISO 14443 A/B. TeliaSonera has for some time been a forerunner in the innovative forums that have explored new opportunities based on the so called Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. In 2006 TeliaSonera conducted tests for public transportation in Tampere, Finland.