AT&T partners with Hertz on embedded wireless

AT&T signed a three-year deal with rental car provider Hertz that will allow Hertz workers to wirelessly monitor and manage cars in the company's short-term rental Connect by Hertz program. The move is the latest by a wireless carrier to partner with a car company on embedded wireless technology.

The deal will allow Hertz to use AT&T's wireless network to oversee about 1,500 vehicles in the program. The program is similar to the Zipcar model, allowing customers to sign up for car rentals on an hourly basis. The partnership will allow customers to wirelessly connect with Hertz employees to locate and unlock cars, as well as get tracking and driving time information.

"We decided to work with AT&T because we needed a reliable wireless provider whose network could go where our customers are going," Joseph Eckroth, Hertz's senior vice president and chief information officer, told Hertz and AT&T have worked together in the past; the rental car company's airport and local car rental counters and major corporate sites are connected through AT&T's VPN service, among other services. 

In a similar vein, Sprint Nextel recently said it is looking to forge partnerships with companies to promote embedded wireless technology, and recently struck a deal with Ford Motor Co. to put in-dashboard computers in Ford vehicles that connect to Sprint's network.

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