MTS to deploy Gemalto’s UpTeq NFC SIM cards

Telecom Lead Europe: Russian telecommunication service provider MTS will deploy Gemalto’s UpTeq NFC SIM cards for a mobile phone-based public transport ticketing solution in Novosibirsk city.

MTS is Russia’s largest network operator with over 70 million subscribers.

The solution is produced and personalized at Gemalto’s Moscow service center. Gemalto says the solution can deliver responsiveness for deploying MTS’ NFC program.

Operated alongside Zolotaya Korona, a Russian payment and money transfer system, the ticketing service allows users to pay for journeys on buses and the metro in Novosibirsk by tapping their mobile phone on an NFC reader.

For optimum convenience, users will be charged for journeys via their regular MTS billing scheme. Over 95 percent of public transport turnstiles and terminals in Novosibirsk are already equipped with NFC readers and the new system is designed to replace the current paper tickets.

Queuing will become shorter for customers and the traveling experience will improve across the entire public transport network, throughout the city.

Meanwhile, MTS is likely to spend around $2.6 billion as Capex (capital expenditure) in 2013. Capital investment in 2013 will be lower than 2012’s $2.9 billion or roughly 23 percent of sales.

With the near completion of its roll-out of 3G in 2012, MTS foresees a decrease in 3G-related Capex in 2013. However, MTS will invest in LTE networks. For the period 2013 to 2015, MTS expects cumulative Capex / sales ratio in the range of 18-19 percent.

The company is looking at investing 20 percent of its current year revenue as Capex in 2013. In 2013, MTS targets 5-7 percent revenue growth from $12.4 billion revenue in 2012. MTS will focus on rolling out LTE networks in regions throughout Russia. In addition, MTS will build-out its GPON network in Moscow.

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