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AT&T Enhances Location-Based Services Portfolio with 'A-GPS' Network Deployment
AT&T also introduces New AAA Mobile Navigator and MapQuest Navigator applications that provide customers with additional choice.
AT&T Inc. announced that it has deployed assisted GPS technology (A-GPS) within its wireless network to enhance existing and planned location-based services used with A-GPS capable devices. The company also announced it will launch two new navigation applications in the coming weeks, MapQuest Navigator and AAA Mobile navigator. The new applications add to the company's AT&T Navigator and AT&T Navigator Global Edition offerings, underscoring its focus on providing superior navigation tools and customer choice. The A-GPS deployment primes the network for further expansion this year in the LBS category, including planned launches of a location-enabled social networking service and a family-oriented service along with industry-leading privacy controls.

A-GPS technology gives capable devices a significant jump-start on identifying the user's initial location. GPS devices search satellites each time they are turned on to determine starting latitude and longitude, a process that previously took as long as several minutes. With A-GPS, AT&T's network speeds up that query by identifying nearby cell sites, helping the device more quickly hone in on the appropriate satellites. Assisted in this way, A-GPS capable devices can identify a user's initial location in fewer than 20 seconds, delivering greater convenience to customers using LBS.

Within weeks, AT&T will also launch new downloadable applications that give its customers more ways to use compatible mobile phones as navigation devices.

"Using a mobile phone for navigation is affordable, convenient and intuitive because it eliminates the need for consumers to buy or carry yet another gadget," said Mark Collins, vice president of Consumer Products for AT&T's wireless unit. "And unlike traditional navigation devices, which can be hard to transport from car to car or difficult to use while walking or riding a bike, a mobile phone is always on hand or in hand."

AAA Mobile navigator, powered by Networks In Motion (NIM), gives AT&T customers access to audible turn-by-turn directions, AAA TourBook travel guide information including Diamond Ratings for restaurants and lodgings, gas prices, movie reviews and show times, traffic alerts with alternate routes and more. AAA Mobile also allows AAA members to send their GPS location directly to a roadside assistance operator.

MapQuest Navigator, powered by Telmap, gives AT&T customers access to turn-by-turn, voice-guided driving and walking directions, 3-D moving maps, 16 million points of interest from MapQuest's database, quick route recalculation for missed turns, real-time traffic alerts, gas prices, gas station locations and AOL's City's Best restaurant and venue ratings.

AT&T Navigator, powered by TeleNav, has been highly successful since its rollout, and LBS has ranked among the fastest-growing categories of applications for AT&T. AT&T Navigator provides turn-by-turn driving directions, full-color moving maps, a fuel finder feature that lets customers identify the cheapest nearby gas and access to YELLOWPAGES.COM's database of millions of business locations.

AT&T's deployment of A-GPS paves the way for new offers from AT&T in the LBS space, which include plans for a family-oriented service and a location-enabled social networking service. Future network enhancements will also allow users of non-GPS devices to enjoy location-based services such as local search tools from YELLOWPAGES.COM.
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