AMSTERDAM, June 29, 2004 — Today, Microsoft Corp. and European mobile operators O2 and TeliaSonera announced plans to deliver real-time location services designed to enable businesses to significantly improve the way they locate, track and manage their mobile assets and mobile work force. The real-time location services are built around Microsoft® MapPoint®
Location Server (MLS) and enable developers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and system integrators to create and deploy location-aware business applications for their customers by combining the real-time location data from the O2 and TeliaSonera networks with the rich mapping and location capabilities from the Microsoft MapPoint Web Service.
O2, a leading provider of mobile services to consumers and businesses in the United Kingdom, plans to offer real-time location services for MLS in the United Kingdom by early autumn. “The demand from our business customers for location-based services has increased substantially,” said Nigel Dean, head of interactive product sales of O2. “By working with Microsoft, our customers will be able to easily and quickly build solutions that bring immediate value to their business while utilizing their existing O2 devices and services.”
TeliaSonera, a mobile operator pioneer known for its premier coverage in the Nordic States, will have real-time location services available for MLS in Sweden in July 2004. “The availability of MLS is an important event that will enable more TeliaSonera customers to deploy real-time location services to their mobile work force,” said Jrgen Jonsson, head of LBS for TeliaSonera. “We think that the greatest demand for these services will come from our small and midmarket business customers that can immediately benefit from real-time location services.”
Microsoft also continues to build a strong infrastructure of strategic partners to support customers implementing real-time location services built with MLS.
“The strong commercial support of MLS throughout Europe and North America by major mobile operators, strategic development partners and location aggregators has been outstanding,” said Michael Graff, general manager of the MapPoint Business Unit at Microsoft. “These alliances are important and will help ensure that customers have the resources they need to easily and cost-effectively implement location-aware solutions that would have been cost-prohibitive in the past.”
In addition to the support of mobile operators such as O2 and TeliaSonera, location aggregators such as Teydo, based in the Netherlands, play a significant role in the rapid adoption of real-time location services with MLS. “Using the MobiSPOT connector enables any MLS partner or ISV to connect to more than 100 million GSM subscribers,” said Jaap Groot, CEO of Teydo.
MobiSPOT connects to most European GSM operator networks such as Vodafone, Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Telenor and E-Plus, and provides aggregated real-time location data to MLS developers, system integrators and independent software vendors.
A wide range of large and small developers, system integrators and ISVs see enormous commercial opportunity in building on the MLS and MapPoint Web Service platform and are already focusing efforts on creating a new wave of location-aware solutions for their customers. Two such partners — LogicaCMG plc, a major force in IT services and wireless telecoms, and SpedSoft AB, an independent software vendor based in Sweden, are actively engaged in developing location applications with MLS.
“There are a number of LogicaCMG customers that could immediately benefit from MLS. With MLS’ support of industry standards, we will be able to easily add real-time location services to many types of mission-critical business applications and address the unique needs of customers that need to track valuable assets or a mobile work force,” said Piet Knol, director of wireless enterprise solution business at LogicaCMG. “In addition, MLS complements our solutions and gives us one-step access to acquiring location data from a mobile operator’s network that was not readily available in the past. This is significant because this ease of development will further accelerate the adoption of location services.”
“At SpedSoft there is a growing interest in MLS,” said Joakim Tornhill, CEO at SpedSoft AB. “In many cases MLS adds the value to a business application that inspires companies to join the growing number of MapPoint Web Service users. It’s also a relief for many of our customers that they don’t have to invest in new hardware as GPS-receivers to get positioning on a map. If you have been working with MapPoint Web Services before, then MLS isn’t a big step to take. It’s just a natural and very easy additional extension for the programmer to use to create solutions for customers.”
MapPoint provides a wide range of mapping and location products and services to businesses, consumers and developers.
MapPoint Web Service is an XML-based Web service that enables developers to integrate location-based services, such as maps, driving directions and proximity searches, into their applications and business processes.
MapPoint Location Server is a component of MapPoint Web Service that allows the integration of real-time location into business applications. It provides access to location providers that integrate with mobile operator networks and acts as a proxy between the real-time location data and services provided by those networks and the MapPoint Web Service.
MapPoint Location Server is available to customers with a valid license agreement for the MapPoint Web Service. More information on the MapPoint Web Service licensing model can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/mappoint/webservice/howtobuy.mspx . More information about the MapPoint Location Server can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/mappoint/default.asp .
Extended Free MapPoint Web Service Subscription Offered to Developers
Universal, Enterprise and Professional subscribers are eligible for a free subscription to MapPoint Web Service. This exclusive MSDN account extends the standard 45-day free trial period and also includes limited use of the MapPoint Web Service production environment in addition to the MapPoint Web Service staging environment. This is a one-time offer available to all MSDN subscribers at no charge. Developers can sign up today at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=26010 .
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