TfL (Transport for London) Congestion Charging

London - 15th January 2003

After having been contracted by Transport for London (TfL) to provide infrastructure for the London Congestion Charging Scheme, Capita has selected MX Telecom to provide SMS capabilities for the entire project. SMS will be one of the key channels of communication and payment, alongside the internet, the phone, retail outlets, and the post.

Londoners will be able to pay the congestion charge by texting into a short code on the same day that they are travelling into the congestion zone. Upon registration with London Congestion Charging, users will be able to opt into SMS notification and payment. While "on the hoof", registered users can pay the charge by texting the last four digits of their credit/debit card number to 81099. A confirmation SMS will then be sent back to the user informing them that they have paid for that day.

An estimated 265,000 vehicles enter the 8km square "zone" every day, which covers some of the most well known parts of London. From the 17th of February, 2003, a 5 daily charge will be incurred by anyone with a vehicle who enters the zone between 7.00am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday. Cameras at all entrances of the zone will take photographs of registration plates as vehicles move in and out of the charging area. Anyone who doesn't pay the charge will be automatically tracked down via their registration plate, and fined.

The London Congestion Charging scheme is the most politically charged transport issue in the UK at the moment, and a crucial part of Mayor Ken Livingstone's re-election campaign. The aim is to reduce congestion by a third and increase traffic speed around the capital, especially in the centre.

"Enabling Londoners to pay the congestion charge via SMS will undoubtedly lead to more payments on time, and fewer fines for Londoners. Sending a text message takes seconds, and can be done at any point in the day, whereas other methods of payment are often put off until later, and forgotten," commented Alex Moir, Marketing Director at MX Telecom. "We are extremely pleased to have been selected by Capita for the SMS component of TfL's ambitious scheme, and look forward to contributing to its success."

The project itself is a world first, and it is thought that it will lead to a "blue-print" for use in other cities and capitals. In the UK it is one of the foremost uses of non-billing SMS short codes, as well as one of the first not-for-profit uses of SMS short codes.

About Capita

The Capita Group Plc is one of the largest, and fastest growing, professional support services organisations in the UK. Capita provides an integrated range of white collar, professional support services on long-term contracts across Local Government; Central Government; Education; and the Private Sector in the UK.

About MX Telecom

MX Telecom is a leader in wireless technology. MX Telecom offers an easily accessible gateway to data, voice and video messaging services including 2-way and premium SMS, multimedia messaging, interactive voice response, location-based services, video short codes, Internet and TV related solutions.

MX Telecom works with many of the world's top wireless carriers and maintains direct connections to dozens of carriers across North America, Europe and around the world for SMS, MMS, Video, Voice and Location-based services.

For more information, MX Telecom can be reached on 1-877-698-3532, or via email at press@mxtelecom.com.