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Florence becomes first Italian city to implement mobile ticketing

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Azienda Trasporti dell’Area Fiorentina (ATAF, the public transport authority in Florence, Italy) has launched its Mobile Ticketing service in partnership with Ericsson and mobile operators TIM, Vodafone, Wind and 3 Italia. The service allows customers of these operators to buy public transport tickets by text message, charging the cost to their mobile account.

Through this initiative, the Italian operators are strengthening their commitment to Mobile Pay, a platform launched in May 2011 to expand the use of mobile technology as a payment method.

ATAF is the first public transport administration in Italy to implement mobile payment services. The system is convenient for passengers because a mobile phone is all they need to make a payment, and the cost is charged to their existing mobile account, so no registration or credit system is necessary.

Mobile ticketing represents a new step toward the mass adoption of m-commerce, a concept that transforms mobile devices into mobile wallets to provide a new method of payment for goods and services.

In a study on preferred mobile services conducted by the Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic University of Milan) in Italy, 65 percent of respondents said they were interested in mobile ticketing, and the market is expected to be worth approximately €238 million (about $317 million) by 2015.

Ericsson is the world leader in mobile charging and billing, with more than 1.6 billion subscribers using its solutions. Prior to the 2012 Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona, Spain, Ericsson launched its new extended suite of m-commerce solutions and services, designed to accelerate access and interconnection between the emerging m-commerce ecosystem and the financial world to fast-track the next generation of mobile financial services.

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