Sprint Signs up with Microsoft MapPoint Location Server
- By Scott Bekker
A U.S.-based carrier is onboard with Microsoft's MapPoint Location Server, providing a major boost to Microsoft's fledgling server software for real-time tracking and management of vehicle fleets and highly mobile employees.
MapPoint Location Server requires a partnership with a telecommunications carrier. The software uses hardware in mobile telephones and wireless networks to pinpoint the location of the phone, and presumably the employee and truck or car associated with the phone.
The product launched a year ago with telecommunications partners in Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom, but none in Microsoft's home territory of the United States. On Monday, Sprint launched the Sprint Business Mobility Network, which integrates with MapPoint Location Server.
"It's a pretty big deal. The U.S. is obviously a big market for us," says Trina Seinfeld, lead product manager for Microsoft MapPoint. "We're talking with all of the major operators in the U.S. and in Europe. I think we're at the beginning of this market."
Microsoft and Sprint worked with several customers and partners in the months leading up to the release. One early adopter customer is 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, a junk removal service in North America. The company is using a feature of MLS, which allows a single application to access location-based services from two carrier networks. In the United States the company pulls information from Sprint, while in Canada the company gets location information from Bell Mobility Canada.
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.