Soprano Ties Your Mobile to Every Parking Meter

Soprano today announced a new service that uses mobile and car phones to alert you when your metered parking is about to expire. Every council in Australia can offer the service on every meter for every GSM and CDMA subscriber.

Soprano Vice President Asia Pacific, Rob Hellstrom, said the new service would be the world’s first nationally-available parking expiry service.

Soprano has made available the new mobile value-added service, called “NO FINE” which is being resold through private parking operators, and local governments and councils of Australia. Inpho Interactive, an Australian leader in advanced 1900 premium rate services, is providing 1900 calling and associated services.

“There are so many other uses for mobiles than voice communications. Now people who use meters or any time-based parking space can ensure they don’t pay fines by being reminded when the meter runs out in enough time to get back to their car,” Mr Hellstrom said.

“When someone parks their car in a metered zone, they currently insert their coins or smartcards to pay for an amount of parking time. Now, using their mobile phone to enter the time remaining on the meter, a parking expiry message will arrive on their mobile phone before the purchased time is up,” Mr Hellstrom said.

“Many people park and rush off somewhere. This service is quick and easy to use. You can even dial the service on behalf of others as well, just by dialing 1900-99-7275 (1900-99-PARK).

“The new service offers convenience to subscribers by making them less concerned about the possibility of being fined whilst their car is parked. Many people forget when their meter is about to run out, and others remain frustrated having to remember yet another thing whilst parking. No-one likes to be fined, so we think this service is of real value to many people.

A major benefit for councils is that it doesn’t affect their current operations at all,” Mr Hellstrom said.

“This new service demonstrates our commitment to developing leading-edge innovative information services for our clients. We have developed many corporate and government applications using 1900 IVR-based services and there is an obvious convergence of SMS and 1900 that is making possible many new and novel applications,” InPho InterActive Managing Director, Mr Bhaskar Eswaran said.

“Soprano’s vision is to innovate mobile technology applications that enhance people’s experiences with information and transactional management to location-based services and provide real value to the mobile consumer,” Soprano Managing Director, Mr Richard Favero said.

“This service is another step in our strategy to bring together information, location and commerce using mobile technology and providing a compelling advantage for all involved. To be a leader in mobile technology applications requires advanced skills in all three areas,” Mr Favero said.

Soprano Vice President Asia Pacific, Mr Rob Hellstrom, said the world’s first announcement is one of a number planned for the next quarter which will further demonstrate the real opportunities that exist for the much maligned mobile telecommunications sector.

“Soprano maintains an approach of providing appropriate mobile solutions and products within the confines of the capabilities of today’s mobile phones. Mobile services available today are only scratching the surface of what can be done even on today’s mobile phone,” Mr Hellstrom said.

“Soprano is readying more product and pilot announcements that use existing and the next generation of handsets,” Mr Hellstrom said.

“Outside Australia, Soprano has opened offices in Asia and Europe and intends to continue to take capabilities and successes demonstrated in the local market into its growth markets,” Mr Hellstrom said.