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NEC to supply high-tech boarding pass for Singapore Cruise Center+
[January 19, 2006]

NEC to supply high-tech boarding pass for Singapore Cruise Center+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)SINGAPORE, Jan. 19_(Kyodo) _ Japan's NEC Corp. clinched a S$2.5 million (US$1.5 million) deal Thursday to provide high-tech electronic solutions to Singapore's government-operated cruise and ferry terminal, company officials said.

The deal, clinched by NEC Solutions Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., the Singapore subsidiary of NEC, includes a passenger boarding pass that features "radio frequency identification," better known as RFID.

The cruise center, which handles about 600,000 passengers a year, will be the first in Asia to use RFID passenger boarding pass when the new system is ready in March next year, NEC and cruise center officials told a news conference.

The boarding pass, the size of a credit card, will contain information such as the name of the passenger, the name of the vessel the passenger will be boarding, the destination and the boarding time.

The passenger will need only to tap the card to check in luggage and to pass through various turnstiles until boarding the ship.

The system not only provides a smoother and more hassle-free experience for passenger but also a higher level of security.

Officials said the new system will be able to more efficiently detect passengers who do not board planes or vessels after checking in their luggage -- seen as a tell-tale sign of a terrorist.

Cheong Teow Cheng, president of the cruise center, said the new boarding pass system will help the center save costs because each card can be reused up to 500 times.

NEC said it hopes to secure more such projects in Southeast Asia.

The cruise center, which began operations in 1991 and is owned by Temasek Holdings, the Singapore government's investment company, currently faces competition from other ports in the region.

"Our aim is to reestablish our position as a global and world-class cruise terminal in Singapore and in the region," Cheong said.

The center's international passenger terminal is a major port of call in Southeast Asia for luxury cruise ships. It receives up to 50 calls from international cruise liners each year, mostly between October and April each year, when cruise operations in the United States and Europe go into hibernation due to the winter season.

The terminal went through a S$22.5 million makeover in 1998, followed by another S$5 million facelift last year.

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