Sports arena tries NFC for fans' convenience

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on December 21, 2005

Sports arena tries NFC for fans' convenience

JPMorgan Chase, Cingular Wireless, Nokia, Philips, Visa, ViVOtech, and Atlanta Spirit LLC are to pilot an NFC-enabled mobile phone-based system including contactless payments, mobile content provision and premium arena services at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

The trial represents a large-scale consumer test of mobile phone-based payments and services. Atlanta Spirit LLC (parent company of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, NHL's Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena) said the project was designed to test 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.

Contactless POS 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 the arena.

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.

Cingular content For mobile content downloads, Cingular Wireless will be the carrier that enables these services to take place over its digital wireless network. Fans will be able to access and download themed mobile content such as ringtones, wallpapers, screensavers, and clips from favourite players and artists by holding their NFC-enabled phone in front of a poster embedded with an NFC tag.

NFC coming soon?

  Proliferation"By 2010 we expect that over 50% of all mobile handsets will incorporate NFC" - ABI Research"By 2010, we expect that over 50% of all mobile handsets will incorporate Near Field Communication chips to enable short-range, easy and secure transactions," according to Erik Michielsen, director for market analysis 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."

According to Michielsen, the NFC implementation at Philips Arena demonstrates that NFC industry players (including the chip makers, card issuers, device makers, mobile carriers, and content providers) are becoming more willing to collaborate on development - something which is essential to NFC's overall market growth, adoption and maturation.

For additional information: ·  Visit JPMorgan Chase at ·  Visit Cingular Wireless at ·  Visit Nokia at ·  Visit Philips at ·  Visit Visa USA at ·  Visit ViVOtech at ·  Visit Atlanta Spirit at