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AT&T Offers Network Industry-First RFID and GPS-Based Solutions for K - 12 Education Segment


AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced the availability of interoperable radio frequency identification (RFID) and GPS-based mobile resource management (MRM) solutions for the K - 12 education segment. The solutions will enhance visibility into the facility and vehicular operations of K - 12 institutions, increasing staff productivity, reducing costs and improving student safety.

AT&T is the first network services company to provide comprehensive and integrated RFID and MRM solutions for the education marketplace. AT&T’s RFID application works in conjunction with MRM location-based services that use GPS technology, AT&T’s wireless data network and specialized hosted and managed applications.

These applications enable K - 12 institutions to track school bus locations, monitor their speed and condition while on the road and report on events within vehicles. The service enables school districts to improve student safety and to save money by routing their school buses as efficiently as possible — cutting down on fuel, maintenance and labor expenses.

MRM relays vehicle location, speed and other data across the AT&T wireless data network and sends it to a secure Web site portal. Both RFID and MRM data are available to designated educators and administrators who have access to a Web browser.

The integration of RFID and MRM applications is especially beneficial when trying to ensure the safety of students when they’re on their way to and from school. Deploying RFID readers in addition to tracking devices on school buses enables educators to determine when students get on or off, as well as the location of buses when they’re en route.

The company’s RFID application works seamlessly with any 802.11 standards-based wireless local area network (LAN) infrastructure and offers precise, on-demand tracking.

Wi-Fi-based RFID tags, placed on ID badges that can be secured to equipment, bracelets, shirt pockets or book bags, send a wireless signal to locate, monitor and report on assets, students and educators. Additional AT&T RFID benefits include:

* Asset tracking. Minimize theft of high-value equipment and assets, including computers, projectors, laptop carts and lab equipment. Also, because many of these assets are mobile, locating them can be difficult in a large school building. Active RFID allows the teachers and staff to easily locate these assets, saving time and optimizing inventory.
* Daily attendance tracking. Automate the tracking of average daily attendance, as well as notify administrators when students are not in school by importing information in the student-information databases.
* School-visitor tracking. Monitor the location of visitors and even alert school administrators when visitors enter unauthorized areas.
* Disaster response. Provide the location of school staff in the event of a man-made or natural emergency or disaster situation.

“In today’s world of K - 12 education, enhanced visibility regarding the location of students, teachers and valuable assets is crucial,” said Bill Hughes, principal analyst for wireless research group, In-Stat. “By introducing mobile technology, such as RFID and MRM, school districts can save time, eliminate unnecessary costs, reduce theft and unnecessary inventory and, most important, enhance student and teacher safety.”

In fact, according to In-Stat, the U.S. market for RFID and GPS-based services is about $650 million annually, with projections to grow by 24 percent annually to $1.5 billion by 2010.

AT&T’s expertise includes designing, deploying and managing the solutions. These solutions vary from mobile devices and applications to AT&T’s Internet Protocol (IP)-based network and Internet data centers to education-facility infrastructure, such as RFID readers, tags and data-collection servers, LANs, wireless LANs, firewalls and routers.

“Our RFID and MRM services help K - 12 institutions rapidly deploy end-to-end solutions without significant capital investment,” said Ann Rotatori, vice president of Business Marketing for AT&T. “For the first time, school districts can now turn to a network services provider for all of their RFID and MRM needs, and that enables them to save money, make the most of their assets and resources and enhance student safety.”

These solutions are a continuation of AT&T’s strategy to deliver a range of RFID and sensor-based network solutions, and it’s another example of how the company is delivering converged, IP-based applications and services that enable users to access content, applications and information virtually anytime, anywhere and by using any device.

More information on AT&T education solutions can be found at

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