Mobile services allow Expo visitors to ask about queue times, buy tickets

16:56, May 31, 2010      

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Visitors to the Shanghai World Expo can now inquire about how much time they have to spend in line at the 10 most popular pavilions by visiting the Expo's WAP site at The data is updated hourly to help tourists better plan their schedules.

A total of 55,000 mobile phone tickets have been sold

Mao Weiliang, deputy general manager of the Data Operations Department of China Mobile's Shanghai branch, said that it has been nearly one month since the opening of the Expo, and there are approximately 210,000 mobile phone users touring the Expo Site every day. According to the number of domestic roaming service subscribers, nearly 45 percent of Expo visitors are from outside Shanghai.

Mao disclosed that 55,000 mobile phone tickets had been sold as of May 24. With more than 5,500 tickets used, there are still 50,000 prospective visitors.

"A major advantage of the mobile ticket is that it does not need to be delivered and will not run out of stock because it is a virtual product," Mao said. "These tickets can be purchased conveniently in any place at any time."

Mao added that the digital tickets and common tickets share the same treatment. Tourists who use mobile phone tickets can also receive reservation tickets to the China Pavilion and exchange their old tickets for new tickets for shows at the Expo Cultural Center.

Mobile subscribers will receive reminder messages

Starting May 31, mobile subscribers can also enjoy immediate updated information service for queue times in front of the entrances to popular pavilions. Mao conducted an onsite demonstration. When he entered the Expo's official Web site, the top 10 pavilions' queue times immediately appeared, including the Japanese Pavilion, Saudi Arabian Pavilion, U.S. Pavilion, Swiss Pavilion and the Chinese Pavilion.
The figure is networked with the Shanghai World Expo Bureau and will be updated hourly.

"Although the queue times for popular pavilions is often posted at the Expo Park, many visitors find they need to wait three or four hours after they arrive at the entrances," Mao said.

If visitors have the information in advance, they can certainly avoid visiting during peak times, he said.

Furthermore, when mobile subscribers walk in the Expo Park, they will receive a message giving them information on weather conditions, the adjusted opening time, closing time and traffic information.

"We will remind them to login on the Expo's official Web site and use the map on the mobile phone to acquire related information including restaurants and washrooms around them," Mao said.

These services will be charged according to general Internet traffic.

SMS-based translation service free of charge

Mao added that China Mobile has launched an English translation service.

"With the service, a user's mobile phone can function as a mobile translation machine. A mobile phone user only needs to send a short message in Chinese to China Mobile, and then they will receive an answer in English," Mao said.

The service will enable Chinese visitors to communicate more frequently with foreign pavilion personnel.

If Chinese visitors have difficulties in communicating with foreign pavilion personnel, they have two convenient solutions. One is to dial 962288, the official hotline number of the Shanghai World Expo, for help. Another is to use the SMS-based translation platform.

"The SMS-based translation platform mainly services visitors who have basic English knowledge but forget certain basic words and phrases because they do not use English often," said Mao.

Mao added that the SMS-based translation platform is divided into two types, machine translations and human translations. The short messages from visitors will first be translated by machines. If the Chinese words cannot be properly translated into English words, a translation team consisting of 20 translators will provide real-time translation services.

"The translation service is free of charge and users just need to pay the regular fees for sending short messages which are rated at one yuan per month," Mao added.

China Mobile in Shanghai will send certain English words and commonly used terms about the pavilions that hold National Pavilion Day activities to their users' mobile phones, helping inform visitors about these pavilions and participate in related activities.

By People's Daily Online


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