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Ericsson and ICA Ahold in world's first trial of e-payment via Bluetooth

Ericsson and ICA Ahold, the leading Nordic retailing group, have conducted the worlds first trials with Bluetooth wireless technology in retail stores.

Using mobile phones with WAP and Bluetooth technologies, customers have been able to pay for goods, check their accounts and find out about current offerings. This method of making payments is both faster and easier than regular purchasing with cash or credit card.

The purpose of the trial has been to test payments and payment related services for customers and to test Bluetooth wireless technology for communication in retail store environment The trial has been conducted at an ICA store in Täby, outside Stockholm, which has been equipped with Bluetooth coverage, using multiple Bluetooth access points, and Bluetooth networking server which provided connectivity to a cash register server and a payment processing system.

The trial proves the use of Bluetooth in combination with GSM, WAP and Web technologies. Ericsson recently begun shipping its Bluetooth headset and next year will launch its R520 mobile phone with Bluetooth. Besides Bluetooth consumer products, chipsets and modules, Ericsson is also licensing its Bluetooth Intellectual Property.

"The trial clearly demonstrated the opportunities in using mobile devices as payment instruments, with substantial convenience for people when shopping in our stores," says Jan-Olof Jarnesjö, Manager of IT infrastructure at ICA. "We envision that Bluetooth access will make it possible for people to do shopping in the way which is most convenient for them. Bluetooth is a widely adopted specification and we believe that most people will have access to personal devices which support Bluetooth." "This trial shows that Bluetooth is a reality today and that mobile Internet applications will help consumers simplify their everyday lives," says Jan Ahrenbring, Vice President Marketing and Communications at Ericsson Mobile Communications. "The wide range of industries represented by the more than 2000 companies in the Bluetooth Special Interest Group tells us there will be Bluetooth applications everywhere."

"Its vital that retailers participate and contribute to consumer services in the mobile world at an early stage," says Jörgen Wennberg, Vice President, ICA Ahold Bank Project. "As far as we are concerned, the key is finding user-friendly and valued solutions for consumers and stores."

Ericsson is the leading communications supplier, combining innovation in mobility and Internet in creating the new era of mobile Internet. Ericsson provides total solutions covering everything from systems and applications to mobile phones and other communications tools. With more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries, Ericsson simplifies communications for customers all over the world.

Peter Bodor, Public Relations Manager
Ericsson Mobile Communtions AB
Phone: +46 8 404 24 23, +46 70 328 2423

Jörgen Wennberg, Vice President, ICA Ahold Bank Project
Phone: +46 70 593 71 46

About ICA Ahold
ICA Ahold is the leading retailing group in the Nordic region with a total
of 4,600 stores in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. Additionally,
alongside Statoil, the ICA group also owns and operates 1,500 Statoil
service stations across Scandinavia. Through a 50:50 partnership with
global food provider Royal Ahold of the Netherlands ICA is also part of a
worldwide retailing network.

Please visit ICA at: http://www.ica.se
About the trial

The trial was concluded on November 30, 2000. The phones used in the trial
were Ericsson R320 WAP phones with the Ericsson Bluetooth Phone Adapter.
Cash register software used in the trial system is from the Swedish cash
register software vendor Extenda AB. Bluetooth access system builds on the
Ericsson Bluetoth Solution Provider Kit, BSPK. Interworking between the
Bluetooth access system and the Extenda cash register software is based on
web technology.

About Bluetooth
The Bluetooth wireless technology is set to revolutionise the personal
connectivity market by providing freedom from wired connections. It is a
specification for a small-form factor, low-cost radio solution providing
links between mobile computers, mobile phones and other portable handheld
devices, and connectivity to the Internet. The Bluetooth Special Interest
Group (SIG), comprised of leaders in the telecommuntions, computing, and
network industries, is driving development of the technology and bringing
it to market. The Bluetooth SIG includes promoter companies 3Com,
Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Lucent, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Toshiba, and
1900 adopter companies. BLUETOOTH is a trademark owned by
Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson, Sweden.