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April 15, 2009

Today's On-the-Go Families Can Stay Connected with AT&T

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor

While location-aware applications have typically been targeted toward on-the-go business users, the increasing mobility of teens and parents today has shifted the need to know the locations of mobile users, to now also include families.
In response to this need, AT&T has introduced a new tool, AT&T FamilyMap, developed together with location-based technology provider, WaveMarket, that makes it possible to locate a family member’s phone via a Web browser.

Using the tool, it is now possible for parents to easily and quickly track their child’s location and verify that they are located where they should be. For example, parents can check to ensure their child has arrived home from school, or check the location of a teen that drives - without having to call or text them and create a possible distraction.
Parents can also create Schedule Checks using the tool that will send them a text or email alert on their child’s location for a set time and date.
Other customizations that make the tool even more engaging include the ability to toggle between a satellite and interactive street map view of locations, the ability to assign names and photos and label frequently visited places as, “home” or “soccer field”.
This tool is available to all phones within the same wireless account and offers control of privacy preferences to the account owner. For a $9.99 monthly fee, 2 phones can be located, and for $14.99 per month up to 5 phones may be located.

"AT&T (News - Alert) FamilyMap is a terrific tool to help busy families keep track of each other, as well as a great way to check up on loved ones for any reason, such as to touch base with elderly family members," said Mark Collins (News - Alert), vice president of Voice and Data Products for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets.
"More than 60 percent of AT&T wireless customers are part of a family plan or multiple line account, so there's a considerable number of our subscribers whom we believe will find this service beneficial."

A recent report from Strategy Analytics predicts that both AT&T and Verizon (News - Alert) will have double-digit subscriber growth in 2009 due in large part to their major fiber broadband rollouts.

Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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