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Finns take cell-phone reservations

BEGINNING tomorrow, the Finland Pavilion will take reservations via cell phone 3G networks, officials said yesterday.

Visitors can send a short text message telling the time they want to visit the pavilion, and a code will be sent back to their cell phone.

Visitors can enter the pavilion by flashing the phone at a recognition system at the entrance, officials said.

Visitors should first check how many reservation tickets are still available at a certain period, officials said.

To do that, first send a message that begins with the numbers 85401. Then add the time you want to visit: If it's 9:30am, your message will be: 85401 0930.

China Unicom clients should send that message to 106-666-6620. China Mobile clients should dial 106-666-662-008.

You'll get a message back, telling you whether you can indeed reserve a spot at that time.

If the reservation is still available, you should send a second message with the numbers 01 plus the time you want. For example, if you want 9:30am, the message will be: 01 0930.

A reservation code will be sent back allowing you to enter from 9:30am to 10:30am.

The service costs 1 yuan (14 US cents) per message, apart from common communication charges.

In another high-tech innovation, visitors to the pavilion will get e-coupons sent to their cell phones.

With the e-coupon, visitors can get a special souvenir at the pavilion shop.

The service was developed by Nokia Siemens and China Unicom, said pavilion officials.

"Finland has always been an innovative country," said Mikko Puustinen, Finland's deputy commissioner general for the Expo.

"We always encourage technique study and development. We are glad to bring about a memorable joyful experience to Expo visitors."

The pavilion, in Zone C, has proven popular among visitors, who have waited in long lines outside the circular building.

The pavilion has taken several measures to ease the wait.

Staff members sing Finnish songs and teach visitors to speak some simple Finnish. In early May, a "Santa Claus" mixed with people in line.


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