Telecom Italia and ATM (Milan’s municipal transport company) have agreed to run trials on an advanced mobile ticketing service that will make it possible to buy tickets directly from mobile phones and validate them simply by waving a mobile phone in front of one of the validating machines. After running trials in the second half of 2009, the service will be rolled out to everybody in early 2010.
A software application on mobile phone SIM cards enables users to access a menu with options to buy and top up season and multiple tickets, saving the bother of physically having to go to a sales outlet. The service also provides real-time information on ticket availability and on season ticket expiry dates.
NFC (Near Field Communication) radio technology built in to the mobile phone allows passengers to validate their ticket simply by moving their mobile phone close to a special reader or turnstile, even when the phone is turned off. Customers may also receive useful information on public transport by bringing their phone close to one of the “smart posters” in Milan’s subway stations. Similarly, ticket inspectors can check ticket validity simply and immediately by moving their palmtop into close proximity to the customer’s mobile phone.
Luca Tomassini, Responsible for Business Innovation in Telecom Italia, said: “After previously rolling out an NFC-technology based mobile ticketing system nationwide, this project, which Telecom Italia developed in partnership with ATM, confirms the company’s commitment to developing and implementing innovative ICT services that help improve everyone’s quality of life, while at the same time enhancing the competitiveness of Italian business.
Milan, April 1st, 2009