Great Wall of China moves to contactless access ticketing with Philips’ MIFARE UltraLight chip technology

Sep 02, 2004

Royal Philips Electronics today announced that the Beijing Municipal Administration and Communications Card Co. Ltd. (BMAC) is using Philips’ MIFARE® UltraLight contactless chip technology in a new e-ticketing system for the Great Wall of China at Badaling, Beijing. In the near future, visitors will obtain faster, easier and more convenient access to this popular tourist destination, as existing magnetic card access is replaced by Philips’ contactless chip technology used in a contactless smart card system.

The new e-ticketing system is compatible with Beijing’s existing One-Card ticketing system, which will be used at the 2008 Olympics and will also support Beijing Public Transportation mass transit cards based on Philips’ MIFARE contactless chip technology.

Each year more than 4 million people from around the world visit the Great Wall of China. The landmark’s new contactless system, based on Philips’ MIFARE technology, will streamline access by reducing ticket jams, fraud and system maintenance costs. The system will enhance the information system management of tourism spots in China, enabling a real-time management of tourist flows and will provide support for bundling transportation and accommodation. The contactless system is rugged making it ideal of outdoor use, and is designed to withstand the hot and cold weather extremes as well as other severe weather conditions such as blowing sand encountered at the Great Wall.

Visitors will obtain access to the Great Wall of China by using chip-based smart cards as tokens and later the Beijing One-Card, eliminating the need for cash payments while tourist bureaus also benefit from the improved statistical collection. Contactless systems are planned to be installed at other tourist attractions, including other renowned tourist spots in Beijing and elsewhere in China.

“Contactless access at the Great Wall of China will serve as an important case study for implementation in other venues and events around China, most notably the Olympics,” said Derrick Robinson, senior research analyst, IMS Research.

“The e-ticketing system at Badaling Great Wall creates a new spending pattern, introducing an innovative purchasing concept when compared to the traditional entry ticket buying method. We selected Philips’ MIFARE Ultra Light technology for its convenience, reliability and ability to be quickly integrated into installed ticketing systems due to compatibility with Beijing’s existing e-ticketing system as well as other mass transit systems throughout the country,” said the Project Head of BMAC. “During a trial run at the Great Wall of China from March to July 2004, the system demonstrated excellent, reliable performance.”

“To date, more than 100 million MIFARE IC–based cards have been distributed in China,” said Tony Lear, senior vice president and general manager of Philips Semiconductors China. “The implementation of Philips’ MIFARE Ultra Light contactless technology at the Great Wall of China showcases the extension of the technology beyond initial transport applications and demonstrates the benefits it can bring to other facets of the connected consumer lifestyle.”


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