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Singtel and Mobike to collaborate in areas such as mobile payments, data analytics

USERS of bike-sharing firm Mobike will be able to pay for their trips through their monthly Singtel bills, under a collaboration between the two firms.

On Monday, telco Singtel and Mobike signed an agreement to collaborate in areas such as mobile payments and the use of internet of things (IOT) technology.

The partnership between the two - which extends to Singtel-owned Optus as well as associate telcos in the region such as Telkomsel in Indonesia and AIS in Thailand - will also allow Mobike users to pay for trips using Singtel's mobile wallet app Dash.

Singtel and Mobike will also explore the use of new IOT technology to provide more precise locations of bicycles.

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This will allow bicycles to more easily located in areas such as the void decks of Housing Board blocks, where GPS technology may not be able to easily locate them, said Mobike co-founder and chief technology officer Joe Xia.

Mobike country manager Sharon Meng said the firm would also be open to partnering with Singtel to introduce technology such as beacons to prevent indiscriminate parking.

The two firms expect to begin a trial of such technology by the first quarter of next year (2018), said Mr Arthur Lang, chief executive officer of Singtel's International Group, adding that the use of IOT will help further Singapore's smart nation ambitions.

"A smart city only works if devices can talk to one another," he said, adding that this would help enhance consumer experience.

He added that Singtel would also be able to tap the 30 terabytes of big data generated daily by the 200 million Mobike riders worldwide to better cater to customers.

While Mr Lang said it is too early to put a dollar value on the agreement, he said the partnership between Singtel and Mobike would continue to develop over the next few years. "This is not a 'next six months' type of collaboration," he said.