Telefónica O2 to launch multi-function NFC trial in Czech Republic

The Czech town of Pilsen is to be the site of the world’s first trial of a multi-function NFC system incorporating both retail payments and Mifare transit ticketing applications.

WORLD FIRST: Pilsen's NFC trial will take in both retail payments and Mifare ticketing
WORLD FIRST: Pilsen\’s NFC trial will take in both retail payments and Mifare ticketing

Telefonica O2 and the municipality of Pilsen have announced that next month they will launch the world’s first multi-application city services trial incorporating both Mifare transport ticketing functionality and retail payments.

Consumers equipped with NFC phones will be able to travel, pay for goods in participating shops and pay for entrance to entertainment areas with their handsets.

The pilot will be conducted in two phases and will last for a total of nine months. During the first phase, which will last until June 2009, the transit application will be downloadable through the Telefónica O2 network.

In the second phase, end-users will also be able to top up a transit e-purse and buy new bus tickets directly from their NFC phone, in addition to using the city website. Using NXP’s Mifare4Mobile technology, the issuance and top-up requests will be delivered in real-time over the Telefónica O2 network into the secure element of the end-user’s phone.

Both Nokia 6131 NFC and Nokia 6212 Classic NFC phones are being used in the trial, with each running a cobranded O2/NXP wallet that allows the user to view all the available Mifare-based applications. After tapping in a PIN code, the wallet displays available bus tickets, the user’s travel history, the balance on the transit e-purse and details of the last four transactions made.

Application management will be performed over-the-air using NXP’s Mifare4Mobile platform. As well as securely managing the lifecycles of Mifare-based applications in NFC phones, the platform will also allow for a smooth transition from embedded secure elements to Single Wire Protocol (SWP) SIMs once they become fully available.

“This project is a unique opportunity for Telefónica O2 to collect important user and business partners experience and fine tune the NFC business model essential to a successful commercial roll-out expected end of 2009,” says David Brendl, Telefónica O2’s head of m-commerce and NFC product development for the Czech Republic. “Telefónica O2 hereby demonstrates how a mobile network operator, a service provider and a technology provider can cooperate in an environment where rules are still undefined.”

NXP’s Jérôme Juvin added that “With this pilot we demonstrate that OTA management of multi-application Mifare cards is feasible today in embedded secure elements and very soon in SWP SIMs. Proving the multi-application NFC model in a real world context is an essential step on the road to full commercial roll-out of NFC.”

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