Aether takes over Highway Master service

Tripling the size of its truck fleet customer base, Aether Systems Inc. will assume responsibility for the Highway Master Series 5000 wireless data communications system under a new agreement with @Track Communications Inc. The agreement also gives Aether ownership of @Track’s Trackware trailer tracking system, 20/20V asset tracking system and Platinum Service fleet management system in return for

Tripling the size of its truck fleet customer base, Aether Systems Inc. will assume responsibility for the Highway Master Series 5000 wireless data communications system under a new agreement with @Track Communications Inc.

The agreement also gives Aether ownership of @Track’s Trackware trailer tracking system, 20/20V asset tracking system and Platinum Service fleet management system in return for $3 million in cash and $12 million in Aether stock.

Currently 200 fleets use Aether’s MobileMax wireless system in approximately 20,000 vehicles. The Highway Master service adds another 400 fleets and over 25,000 installed systems, making Aether the second largest provider of wireless data service in trucking. Both systems are used primarily by over-the-road long-haul fleet operations.

Under the agreement, Aether did not buy the rights to the Highway Master communications hardware or communications network. Instead it will support current users and pay @Track for traffic over its cellular-based network. It’s expected that Aether will eventually introduce a new generation of its MobileMax system that it will offer to current Highway Master 5000 users.

Having shed its original Highway Master business, @Track is expected to focus on wireless data systems for service and metro-area fleets with the Minorplanet Vehicle Management Information system.

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