AT&T offers new tracking platform

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Updated Jan 7, 2011

AT&T recently announced a new Location Information Services (LIS) offering to enable transportation companies to capture location information from drivers’ handsets, regardless of hardware or wireless service provider. The new offering also does not require additional software to be downloaded to handsets.

The LIS product utilizes a technology developed by TechnoCom Wireless called LocationSmart. Through agreements with Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and other major wireless carriers, TechnoCom is able to capture and aggregate the location information, which is calculated using assisted GPS and cellular identification.

The types of transportation companies who would likely be interested in AT&T’s new LIS offering are non-asset brokerage and logistics operations and carriers that utilize owner-operators, says John Moscatelli, director of AT&T’s transportation industry solutions practice.

“Carriers that use owner operators don’t want to invest in a particular type of hardware in vehicles they don’t own,” he says.

By using LocationSmart, the location of drivers and shipments can be fed into fleet management systems to route and schedule vehicles and loads, he says.

To address privacy issues of tracking non employees, the TechnoCom LocationSmart platform only captures location when a call is made to the transportation company by the driver. Many logistics companies require carriers and owner operators to update shipment status. Getting drivers’ permission to capture — and verify — their location via LocationSmart should not be a challenge, Moscatelli says, because location information is not captured on a continuous basis.

AT&T offers flexible subscription-based pricing based on the number of location requests used per month, Moscatelli says. The LocationSmart platform includes Web Services and APIs for companies that wish to integrate location information with existing back-end applications.