Ericsson and Swedish Railways, SJ, are conducting the world's first trials with Bluetooth wireless technology in public environments. The purpose of the trial is to test new information services for SJ's passengers and to test Bluetooth wireless technology for communication in public environments. With WAP and Bluetooth mobile phones, passengers can book tickets, confirm seat reservations on spot and also connect to a network on the X 2000 train to reach public and corporate information resources.
Bluetooth access is provided on the central railway station in Stockholm and on an X 2000 express train. Passengers can receive a seamless service from SJ either via GSM when in wide area or over Bluetooth wireless technology when at a station or on a train. A combination of Bluetooth wireless technology, GSM, WAP and Web technologies is used in the trial, which proves that these technologies can be used together and provide a generic technology environment in public transports. In this case, mobile Internet and Bluetooth wireless technology makes it possible for consumers to integrate tickets, credit cards and personal information management into one personal mobile device. When devoping the IT-support for onboard staff, SJ has also come across the need for an infrastructure. The trial together with Ericsson is of strategic importance for SJ when developing these possibilities.
Bluetooth wireless technology makes it possible for users with mobile phones, portable PCs or PDAs to gain access to information services in public places. For example, when consumers enter a railway station, an airport or a shopping mall, they can receive services provided by the local and remote providers using Bluetooth connection between their mobile device and the Bluetooth Access System. These services can be information about special offers from the local storekeepers in the shopping mall or timetable information and seat reservation at the railway station.
"SJ has received strong indications from customers that they regard communications possibilities to and from trains and also on the train as very important, they want to spend their travel time doing what is most important for them," says Tony Nydén, Manager of IT and infrastructure at SJ. "We envision that Bluetooth access will make it possible for people while on trains to reach not only our services but also public information resources and information resources at their work. This will make travel with trains convenient and productive. It is also important to SJ that the technology we use is a standard on the market for wireless communications, therefore Bluetooth fits very well," says Tony Nydén.
"Ericsson has shown a number of Bluetooth devices, but this is the first time we demonstrate a full scale Bluetooth implementation with products, services and other mobile Internet technologies," says Jan Ahrenbring, Vice President Marketing and Communications at Ericsson Mobile Communications. "The wide range of industries represented by the 1900 companies in the Bluetooth Special Interest Group tells us there will be Bluetooth applications everywhere - but Ericsson is the first to jump on the Bluetooth train," says Jan Ahrenbring,
"It is very exciting working together with our Swedish customer SJ on this trial," says Mats Granryd, Vice President and Sales Director at Ericsson Sverige AB. "This trial combines leading edge technology with the applications of tomorrow. It will give SJ's passengers the possibility to discover mobile Internet and solutions that will be in common use in the future," says Mats Granryd.
The trial duration has been between April 11th and May 19th, 2000. The phones used in the trials are standard Ericsson R320 WAP phones (available on selected GSM markets) with the Ericsson Bluetooth Phone Adapter (available third quarter this year). It is estimated that by 2005 the Bluetooth wireless technology will be a built-in feature in more than 670 million products (according to market researchers Cahners In-Stat Group).
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