Russian mobile network operators to run joint NFC pilots from 2010

VimpelCom, MegaFon, MTS and Moskovskaya Sotovaya Svyaz are teaming up to develop an NFC Test Zone in Russia and will begin with an NFC ticketing pilot in the summer of 2010.

ICU: The Russian 3G operators' trade body has been tracking NFC for some time
ICU: The 3G operators' trade body has been tracking NFC for some time

Four leading Russian mobile network operators have announced plans to collaborate on the introduction of NFC services in Russia.

VimpelCom, MegaFon, MTS (Mobile Telesystems) and Moskovskaya Sotovaya Svyaz (SkyLink Moscow) are working with Russia’s Infocommunication Union (ICU) trade association to develop proposals for how mass market NFC services could be introduced in the Russian Federation and will run their first pilot in the summer of 2010.

The four operators plan to run their pilots in an NFC Test Zone and will start by working with Aeroexpress, operator of Moscow’s rail-air link, to launch an NFC ticketing trial. Work will begin during the spring of 2010, once technical proposals currently being produced by Processing Technologies, developer of the Russian PayCash service, have been completed. The trial will then begin in the summer of 2010 and will be followed by a series of further NFC trials leading to a planned future commercial deployment.

The Infocommunication Union‘s mobile payments project team has been tracking developments in NFC for some time — it launched its first NFC research project in 2008 with the aim of gaining an understanding of the overall potential of NFC services in the Russian Federation. As well as the four mobile operators, its members include research and development companies, technology providers, systems integrators, SIM vendors and investment and consulting companies.

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