Nextel, Air-Trak in dual-mode deal

Nextel, Air-Trak venture introduces dual-mode GPS tracking service

Reston, VA-based Nextel Communications and California-based Air-Trak are joining forces to offer a dual-mode GPS tracking and communications service combining satellite and cellular communications on Nextel’s iDEN network and GPS on Java-enabled phones and/or via Air-Trak’s vehicle-mounted tracking unit.

Ubiquitous tracking and communications can now be accessible on Nextel phones, through the in-vehicle unit or a combination of both via Air-Trak’s SatCom Upgrade, the companies said. The SatCom Upgrade is an add-on module that consists of a satellite transceiver equipped with an omni-directional antenna and onboard intelligence that automatically redirects communications to the satellite network when cellular service is unavailable.

In the case of long-haul trucking, a trucker going from Florida to Oregon can be assured of continuous communication even in areas where Nextel coverage is unavailable, Nextel said, as Air-Trak’s satellite service provides 100% coverage throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Puerto Rico and parts of South America.

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