By tomorrow, millions of
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the launch of its 'Smart Nol' service on Friday, a tie-up with etisalat and du that will also enable users to top up their Nol credit and check their balance.
"We are providing this service for NFC-enabled mobile phone users via a special SIM card to use Nol services for public transport and in future for micropayments in (the)
The NFC is similar to bluetooth technology — though more streamlined. The Smart Nol will work by users placing their smart phones against the card readers at metro station gates or onboard buses and water buses.
The SIM cards will be available at etisalat and Du business centres from tomorrow.
Etisalat chief marketing officer
"The launch of the latest NFC technology solution will be the beginning of a new era on how we empower our customers, as well as service providers in the country."
Du chief commercial officer
Jacky's Electronics chief operating officer Ashish Panjabi said NFC technology was simpler to use than bluetooth and allowed information to be transmitted simply by tapping two devices together.
"The issue is at the moment not everything is NFC-enabled...if you look at Apple, it's got nothing NFC-enabled. With every new iPhone launch, we're wondering whether it will be equipped with NFC, but I don't think it will happen. I don't think it's something they believe in."
Apple was such a "significant player in the market" which compromised the chances NFC technology would become commonplace.
More than 65 per cent of bus users in
Panjabi said the pitfalls of the NFC system were that many parties were required to cooperate, including the credit card companies, local banks, telecommunication companies and merchants. Apple may have "something up their sleeve", such as plans to create their own mobile payment system.
"Apple has got the largest repository of credit card data because hundreds of millions of people who have signed up with Apple have given credit card details, whether it be for music or games or devices...you would think (payment) would be something they could control and dominate through that material."
However, he said most people who had purchased a mainstream smartphone such as Samsung, LG or BlackBerry in the past two years would likely have the technology. The RTA advised people to check with their mobile phone providers about whether their phones were compatible.
British consulting firm
Panjabi said there was "no limit" of where cellphones would go next.
"We're looking now at the next step, which is wearable technology...we've seen the smart watch, Google Glass...that may eliminate cell phones one day." -email@example.com
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