Vodafone and Deutsche Bahn to develop m-ticketing system

Vodafone and Deutsche Bahn to develop m-ticketing system

Vodafone is teaming with German rail operator Deutsche Bahn to develop and implement a mobile phone-based electronic ticketing and payment service called Touch&Travel.

Passengers signed up to the service will be able to use mobile phones embedded with near field communication (NFC) chips in place of paper tickets.

Passengers will be required to tap in and out of the Touch&Travel system by pointing their mobile phones at "touchpoints" located on rail platforms and bus stops at the start and end of their journey. The Touch&Travel system will then calculate the price of the journey and the customer will be billed on a monthly basis.

Vodafone says the touchpoints are equipped with radio chips that transmit data to the mobile phone as they log in and out of the Touch&Travel. This ticketing information is securely stored on the SIM card and can be checked even if the phone's battery has run down.

Touch&Travel will cover both bus and train services. There are also plans to integrate Deutsche Bahn's car sharing and Call a Bike services into the system, says Vodafone.

The first technical field trials of the m-ticketing system are scheduled for this year along the train routes between Berlin and Hanover, as well as in a section of the Berlin metropolitan railway and throughout the Potsdam's city transit net.

The initial testing will involve volunteer users. A more extensive pilot involving real passengers and covering Berlin's entire metropolitan rail and subway network is being planned for next year.

Vodafone says Giesecke & Devrient is supplying the NFC-enabled SIM card systems for the service. Mobile phone manufacturer Motorola, semiconductor producer NXP and Atron, which supplies system to transport companies, are also participating in the project.

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