AT&T expands location services through TeleNav, Xora

AT&T Mobility is broadening its location-based services offerings that will allow employers to track employees using AT&T phones. The carrier said the new services will be available separately through partners TeleNav and Xora.

The releases coincide with heightened interest in the LBS market. According to research by Frost & Sullivan, in 2008 there were nearly 158 million A-GPS-capable phones in the U.S. market and 7.11 million subscribers using LBS applications, or about 4.5 percent penetration of the accessible market. In 2009, that figure will grow to 6.7 percent, according to the firm--and by 2013, the penetration rate will be 18.8 percent. Such predictions likely form the basis for the increased emphasis on the space by AT&T and its LBS tech partners.

As for the new services, AT&T will sell the TeleNav Track LITE offering starting later this month. The carrier said the service allows employers to keep tabs on employees and does not require GPS technology. Interestingly, AT&T said "the tracking feature is always on and cannot be disabled on the device, providing companies with a constant view into the location of all mobile resources," though a spokesman said it would not work if a device was turned off.

In a separate but related announcement, AT&T said it would also sell the competing Xora GPS Locator application, providing small- and medium-sized businesses with "real-time visibility into the location of their mobile workforce." The offering will be available from AT&T at a monthly subscription of $21.99 per device, with an "appropriate" AT&T voice and/or data plan.

For more:
- see this release
- see this release

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