Mobile World Congress: The Digital 2012 Olympics

POSTED BY Global Administrator
The mobile industry’s annual mega event in Barcelona this week has not disappointed in the volume of news stories, with LTE and mobile entertainment being prominent. However one item that caught my eye this morning was a report about UK Minister for Trade & Industry, Lord Mervyn Davies, and the BBC’s Roger Mosey calling for partnerships and co-operation to make London 2012 the “digital Olympics.”

Lord Davies said that the use of mobiles for ticketing and cashless payments is already being explored. As our mobile commerce specialist I was both pleased and fascinated to read this.

Using mobiles for these applications will by 2012 be based around NFC technology, and will be familiar to anyone who has used the Oyster Card for public transport in London. I see sports events as one of three key segments for mobile ticketing- the others are transport and entertainment – and in all three the common element is combining the payment with the means of access.

The point about cooperation and partnership is in my view absolutely vital because there are so many parties involved: mobile network operators, London 2012, transport companies, banks, POS terminal suppliers and more. This is a point that I made in a report on NFC: the NFC ecosystem needs to deliver.

Overall this has got to be the way to go and has the added bonus of being green – all the paper tickets with mag stripes aren’t environmentally friendly at all. So...the timing of the 2012 Olympics is perfect for NFC in my view – by then NFC phones will be much more familiar to users in general and will be the “must have” technology gadget.