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Nokia introduces NFC services in Singapore to benefit businesses, commuters and visitors

New Singapore NFC hub enables businesses to tap on NFC potential; consumers enjoy greater convenience with Nokia-led NFC taxi booking and information services.

Singapore, 19 October, 2011 - Nokia today announced the launch of the first Near Field Communication (NFC) hub in Asia and the third globally after the UK, to provide NFC capabilities to both organizations and individuals in Singapore.

Nokia is introducing the Singapore NFC Hub to make it easier for businesses to adopt NFC technology in offering innovative services. The NFC Hub enables businesses to order NFC tags and posters to create custom NFC campaigns; these posters and tags allow users to access various communication platforms with any NFC-compliant devices and can be customised according to specific business and campaign needs.

For example, campaigns can be built around creating social media engagement on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, sending business cards, opening a pre-defined web-page, launching an application, sending a text message or initiating a phone call. The NFC Hub also enables businesses to track campaign performance.

Gary Chan, Head of Ecosystem & Developer Experience (EDX), Nokia Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei said, “With lots of excitement around NFC and an increased number of handset manufacturers launching NFC-enabled handsets, Nokia is committed to grow the NFC ecosystem in Singapore with operators, businesses and the government with the establishment of the NFC Hub. Singapore is the third local market after the UK and Malaysia to establish an NFC Hub that offers services in local currency, customized local products and local support.”

“Singapore is an early technology adopter market and Nokia has a full range of NFC-enabled smartphones available with the latest launch of the Nokia 603, Nokia 700 and Nokia 701, that will enable users to enjoy the convenience of NFC services that businesses can generate easily on the NFC Hub. We are excited that ComfortDelGro, the National Heritage Board and SMRT Corporation are working with us to roll out innovative new services relevant to a large number of consumers and businesses using NFC technology.”

NFC brings greater convenience for taxi commuters

Nokia has partnered Singapore’s largest taxi operator - ComfortDelGro - to offer an NFC-enabled option as part of its FastCall automated taxi booking services at over 400 locations across Singapore. This service commenced on 8 October across all locations.

With this latest offering, taxi commuters can simply tap their NFC-enabled phone at any of these locations to initiate a Comfort or CityCab taxi booking via SMS to FastCall. An SMS confirmation of the taxi booking will be sent to their mobile phones.

Mr Yang Ban Seng, ComfortDelGro Chief Executive Officer (Taxi Business) said, “This NFC taxi booking is yet another quick and easy way for our commuters to book our cabs.”

A richer understanding of Singapore’s cultural district with NFC

Visitors to Singapore’s cultural district will be able to experience NFC technology and learn more about the history of different precincts like the Bras Brasah and Bugis (BBB) area and its landmarks with a simple tap of a device.

In partnership with the National Heritage Board (NHB) and SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT), Nokia will use NFC technology to showcase an estimated 25 landmarks within the BBB precinct including the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM), The Peranakan Museum (TPM).

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Beginning at the Bras Brasah and City Hall Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train stations, visitors with NFC-enabled smartphones who are travelling through these stations will be able to find out more about the heritage of the BBB precinct with a simple tap on the stations’ NFC-enabled posters and signs at the iMobSMRT areas.

iMobSMRT are dedicated “mobile interactivity spaces” across the SMRT network where relevant services and brands can utilize NFC tags to interact with commuters through their smartphones. Nokia and SMRT are planning to roll out the iMobSMRT spaces at more stations throughout the entire SMRT network over the next few months.

“We are pleased to partner Nokia to present an NFC-enabled lifestyle across our islandwide network. iMobSMRT, a dedicated mobile interactivity space, allows our commuters to enjoy the latest in lifestyle news, conveniences and merchant offers. This initiative is another milestone in enabling digital living throughout the SMRT environment,” said Dawn Low, Managing Director, Commercial Business, SMRT Investments Pte Ltd.

Once at the heritage sites, visitors to these landmarks will also be able to tap on NFC-enabled signs at the entrances to obtain information about the landmarks, to understand Singapore’s history and culture in a richer way.

“Through our partnership with Nokia, we hope to transform Bras Basah and Bugis into Singapore’s first NFC-enabled precinct and leverage on NFC technology to showcase the heritage of an estimated 25 participating sites within the precinct,” said Alvin Tan, Director, Heritage Institutions and Industry Development, NHB.

Nokia’s commitment to NFC technology

As a pioneer in NFC and founding partner of the NFC Forum, Nokia is committed to continue providing NFC devices and experiences that allow the NFC ecosystem to evolve, and develop NFC services that add value to the consumer experience. In doing so, Nokia continues to support the creation of an open ecosystem and fully interoperable environment between developers, software and service providers, and device manufacturers.

Nokia currently has five NFC-enabled smartphones (Nokia 603, Nokia 700 and Nokia 701, Nokia C7 and Nokia N9) available in the Singapore market, along with a a wide range of NFC-enabled accessories that people can pair with NFC smartphones.