RealTime IT News

Verizon Tracks Autos

Verizon Wireless today introduced a new service to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the construction, delivery, security, transportation and utilities industries.

Called Fleet Administration, the offering consists of a wireless device in the vehicle and a software application installed on the office computer. It can track vehicles' locations, stops and mileage, as well as create reports that managers can use to make business decisions.

It The cost is $49.99 per month, and devices cost between $549.99 and $599.99, including installation and support.

The service should make SMBs "more efficient and effective by reducing employee downtime, achieving fuel savings, improving route planning and increasing customer responsiveness and satisfaction," Bill Stone, Verizon Wireless vice president of marketing, said in a statement.

Brenda Raney, a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman, told internetnews.com that Fleet Administration is consistent with the company's previous efforts to serve business customers of all sizes.

"Many of these customers were voice customers who are rapidly deploying wireless solutions that may include deployment of field teams with laptops and air cards or a telemetry solution where data is transmitted wirelessly," Raney said.

Verizon Wireless, which has 43.8 million customers (second only to Cingular), will market Fleet Administration through its business sales team, Raney said.

The technology was developed by New Zealand's Navman Wireless, which is a subsidiary of global positioning satellite specialist Navman Limited.

It's the latest move by wireless firms to move beyond traditional voice service. At last month's CTIA Wireless trade show, industry executives discussed said they want to be the link connecting IP-based networked phones, computers, audio and video entertainment systems and appliances.