The Russian telecoms giant has partnered with the NFC specialist to allow St Petersburg commuters to use their mobile phones to pay for their tickets, in the first stage of a planned national NFC service.
The partnership, involving VimpelCom’s mobile network Beeline, is part of an ambitious programme to introduce NFC throughout Russia. “Our partnership will lead to the availability and adoption of NFC, starting with the city of St Petersburg and expanding to other parts of Russia and Europe,” says Misha Rozenberg, Ambiq’s CEO.
Ambiq began testing NFC on the St Petersburg Metro in October 2010 and signed a technology cooperation agreement with the city’s transport authority on December 21.
S V Popov, deputy chairman of the city’s transport authority, said: “The technology offered by Ambiq Technology is of interest to St Petersburg because it simplifies the procedure of buying tickets and paying for transfer in public transport for passengers. We know that this solution will be in demand among citizens and guests of the city.”
St Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia and has over four million daily public transport passengers. The deployment will be based on Ambiq’s Secure-Z NFC platform and will make use of NFC SIM+antenna add-ons, developed by Czech firm Bladox, that add NFC functionality to existing mobile phones.