In Brief

A few weeks ago I argued in 'Battle For The Bulge' about the fight Apple and the iPod now have to win against the mobile phone market. Although the cell...

A few weeks ago I argued in ‘Battle For The Bulge‘ about the fight Apple and the iPod now have to win against the mobile phone market. Although the cell phone may still have some limitations in terms of music content, it seems to be moving at leaps and bounds in terms of innovation when it comes to commerce in the real world.

The phone could really be our new wallet. Here’s one example: French wireless telecom company Bouygues Telecom and Paris’ public transportation authority, Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP), are launching a trial that will allow riders of the Paris’ subway and bus systems to use RFID-enabled cell phones as contactless transit cards. To pay for a ride, participants will need only wave their cell phones past one of the Navigo RFID-enabled readers already installed at 800 Metro subway stations and on 8,000 buses. The trial’s participants will have the option of using the cell phones to add additional money to their Navigo account, by means of a Web site accessed through Bouygues’ i-mode wireless data service site. Navigo customers cannot currently renew their accounts online.

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