January 18, 2007
Sprint Nextel & the Inkster Public Schools Partner to Provide Parents Additional Peace of Mind with GPS Tracking
Combining the Power of Sprint Nextel's Industry-Leading GPS
Infrastructure and Network, Inkster Public Schools Launch Application
to Help Ensure Student Safety on District Transportation
INKSTER, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 18, 2007--Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and the Inkster Public Schools today announced availability of a new tool to help the administration monitor the district's fleet of school buses real time.
The Inkster Public Schools, consisting of four schools (two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school) and approximately 1,600 students, is one of the first districts in Michigan to implement this GPS (global positioning system) solution. The district's 25 buses have been outfitted with mounted Motorola i355 GPS-enabled handsets. Each handset will be equipped with Comet Tracker from ActSoft, a GPS-tracking application, as well as Nextel Walkie-Talkie service, enabling instant voice communication between drivers and the district's transportation office. It also gives drivers the capability to contact 911 in an emergency.
"As Inkster Public Schools begin to grow and offer a variety of new educational programs, we believe the safety of our student population is paramount. We are so proud in partnering with Sprint Nextel to help ensure student safety on the school district's bus transportation system," said Pete Lopez, director, Technology, Inkster Public School District. "This new GPS solution tool will allow administrators to know and locate in real time, the status of every school bus that's transporting our children. Furthermore, it will collect valuable information to help us maintain and operate a more efficient and effective bus transportation department on limited school funds. The Inkster School District puts the safety of all children as a number one priority with GPS!"
Developed by ActSoft, Inc., Comet Tracker is wireless data software that runs on Nextel GPS Java-enabled phones, and allows the Inkster Public Schools to track the location of their fleet of school buses real time.
"The acceptance of this product by Michigan school districts has been incredible," said Jim Marshall, director, Public Sector Sales, Sprint Nextel. "The number one goal has been the safety of the students, followed by the efficiency of the transportation department. The ability to instantly locate buses or students with just the click of a button, has proven to be of great value to transportation departments, administrators, and parents."
The GPS system wirelessly transmits real-time location information to the dispatch center on the Nextel National Network to a server where data is monitored by the district's transportation department allowing transportation officials to monitor the location of the buses as they pick up and drop off students along their routes and improve safety. Bus locations are displayed on a map, allowing dispatchers to quickly recognize if a bus delayed or off course. Location information can be displayed on a computer screen or Sprint Nextel Blackberry device.
Location data can also be stored to mange the fleet more efficiently; minute-by-minute updates of bus locations offer the ability to view an exact bus route and can generate increased efficiencies and reduced operating costs over a period of time.
"ActSoft is proud to have partnered with Sprint Nextel on this and hundreds of other similar school bus installations," said Tony Esposito, vice president Sales & Marketing, ActSoft. "The solution has allowed school districts like Inkster to manage and extend the life of expensive assets such as school buses, and help them do a better job of keeping their most valuable asset, the students, in a safe environment that provides peace of mind to administrators and parents."
The Motorola i355 has an all weather rugged design. In addition, the Motorola i355 handset is certified to Military Standard 810F for blowing rain, dust and vibration and has a durable rubber overmold for protection against extreme conditions. The device is designed with rubber encasing, interior linings and seals to protect the phone's antenna, speakerphone, keys, battery door and accessory connections from water intrusions.
Sprint Nextel has a long history of providing GPS-based services to enterprises and consumers. Beginning with in-vehicle solutions and then introducing the first GPS-enabled phone in 2001, Sprint created the largest portfolio of wireless mobility solutions for enterprise and general business, and today, it is the number one provider of GPS wireless solutions. In addition, Sprint offers a wide range of GPS tracking solutions from basic bus location tracking to robust, integrated fleet management and student tracking applications that provide school districts with the ability to monitor buses, keep their students safer and quickly respond to parents' inquiries.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks serving more than 51 million customers at the end of third quarter 2006; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
About ActSoft, Inc.
ActSoft, Inc., of Tampa, Fla., is a leading developer of client and web based GPS tracking and mobile worker management software. Their products include Comet Tracker, a mobile management solution that tracks time, tasks, jobs and locations using GPS enabled cell phones. ActSoft, Inc provides enterprise solutions to thousands of companies throughout the United States, Canada, and many other locations around the world.
CONTACT: Sprint Nextel
Mark Elliott, 248-981-3825
SOURCE: Sprint Nextel