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Appeared on: Thursday, February 10, 2005
Philips joins forces with SMART System Technologies and 3united to drive Near Field Communication deployment

Royal Philips Electronics announced an alliance with leading content and service providers SMART System Technologies (SST) and 3united to deliver mobile entertainment applications as well as loyalty and reward programs via Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

NFC, developed by Philips and Sony, securely links wireless connectivity with contactless smart card technology, making it simple for Connected Consumers to access entertainment, information and payment services through their mobile phones.

Leveraging Philips? expertise in the smart card space and its leadership in pioneering NFC technology, this joint effort will allow consumers to make purchases and redeem points or e-coupons by waving an NFC phone in front of a smart poster, contactless retail point-of-sale (POS) device or kiosk. It will also allow consumers to receive instant promotions and rewards based on the user?s location and preferences.

?NFC bridges the connectivity gap that exists in the short-range communications realm, ? said Sour Chhor, general manager of Contactless and Embedded Security, Philips Semiconductors. ?It offers a secure and seamless means of distributing content and services in addition to managing loyalty and rewards programs, anytime, anywhere, with any personal communication device. With this technology, we?re connecting consumers to content and services in an intuitive way, making advanced multimedia services easy-to-use.?

Working with Philips in developing NFC applications, SST will be demonstrating NFC interoperability with its PowerPay solution, a large-scale deployment of its unique loyalty program, which is already active in many sports stadiums. SST is a leading provider of merchant-centric point-of-purchase loyalty and coalition marketing applications and services. Based in Austria, 3united is one of Europe?s market leaders in premium short message services (SMS), m-commerce and mobile content solutions. 3united already provides NFC interfaces for more than 500 premium services for national and international content providers, media enterprises and mobile network operators. SST has developed customized software for NFC phones and has integrated this with its hosted PowerPay solution.

?The ability to deliver real-time rewards and promotions to consumers based on mobile handset activity and purchases are unique benefits of combining the NFC chip with the mobile phone,? said Michael Richardson, president and chief operating officer of SST. ? Marketers will now be given the power to reward and provide incentives to consumers based on their purchases, purchase intent or loyalty to a brand or merchant. We see significant benefits to carriers worldwide as they become an integral part of delivering unique and highly-targeted messages to a willing audience of consumers.?

?As a market leader in delivering mobile content, it is a natural evolution for us to support NFC applications,? said Andreas Wiesm?ller, chief marketing officer of 3united. ?NFC offers both providers and consumers a wide range of advantages and new applications. Revenues generated through mobile services will rapidly grow with NFC because of its ease-of-use for the consumer. We are already fully equiped to support content providers in planning and implementing NFC projects.?

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