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ARKIB : 13/04/2001

Celcom starts Ring-A-Coke service

KUALA LUMPUR April 12 - Celcom (M) Sdn Bhd today became the first mobile communications operator in Malaysia and Southeast Asia to offer a Ring-A-Coke service.

The service gives Celcom GSM (019) post paid users the privilege of purchasing drinks from vending machines via mobile commerce and without having to use coins or money bills.

Group executive vice president of Celcom, Bistamam Ramli said that the new service was a collaborative effort between Celcom, F&N Coca-Cola, Ericsson Business Consulting Malaysia Sdn Bhd and WAP Portal Sdn Bhd.

"We have studied to produce this new service for the past 10 months," he said at the press conference here today.

Ring-A-Coke starts with a mobile phone user dialing a specific number on the vending machine, then placed via the Celcom GSM Network which connects directly to a component known as the Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) residing inside the vending machine.

When the selection is made within 10 seconds, the machine would dispense the selected beverage, then RTU subsequently sends a confirmation of the transaction via short message service (SMS) to a back-end system for billing purposes, Bistamam said.

Starting with an initial roll-out of 30 vending machines in the Klang Valley, he said, the collaborating companies planned to place more than 300 vending machines in the country by the end of this year.

"However, plans are in the pipeline to make this service available throughout the nation by the middle of this year," said managing director of F&N Coca-Cola (M) Sdn Bhd, Ng Jui Sia.

Ng said that the introduction of this high technology was certainly in line with the Government's aspirations towards greater usage and development of information communication technology, be in the business-to-business or business-to-consumer sectors.

"Furthermore, this digital technology has proven the Government's foresight and concept launched many years ago to turn Malaysia into a cash-less society," he added.

Celcom (M) Sdn Bhd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of public listed Technology Resource Industries Bhd (TRI), Malaysia's largest mobile communications operator and a leading telecommunications company.

At the moment, Celcom is the first mobile communications operator to venture into this but in near future other operators would be approached, Ng said.

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