OVERLAND PARK, Kan. ? 04/13/2006 It can be unsettling for a parent or guardian when a child is late coming home from school or misses an after-school activity. Today, Sprint (NYSE: S) launches a location-based service, Sprint Family Locator by WaveMarket Inc., that can help give parents peace of mind. Sprint is the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer a consumer-focused LBS application that enables a parent to use a phone or PC to pinpoint the location of a child on a map along with the address, surrounding landmarks, and accuracy of the information within a specified radius.
"Sprint Family Locator is a valuable tool that can help parents and guardians have a better sense of their children's whereabouts when they're apart," said Danny Bowman, vice president of product marketing for Sprint. "This is the latest Sprint innovation that uses GPS technology to improve the way families connect, communicate and locate one another."
Sprint Family Locator has a host of privacy and security features:
"We encourage parents and guardians to maintain open and frequent communication with their children" said Nancy A. McBride, national safety director for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). "We also remind them to supervise their children and discuss safety tips with them for staying safer when traveling to and from school or after-school activities."
Following are a few tips adapted from NCMEC's Knowing My Rules for Safety to help parents and guardians practice safety measures every day:
Sprint Family Locator is available for download on 17 phone models and can be used to locate 30 GPS-enabled phone models on the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network and the Nextel National Network. For $9.99/month, subscribers can register up to four phones to locate, get unlimited location requests and send 100 text messages to each child phone. The service is available at sprint.com/familylocator; on Sprint phones' homepage under downloads/applications/find it; and on Nextel phones' homepage under downloads and services/applications/browse/GPS.
Sprint Nextel has the longest history in the industry with location-based services, beginning in 2000 with location and mobility services, the first GPS-enabled phone to support E911 services in 2001 and the first navigation service on mobile phones with turn-by-turn voice-guided driving directions in 2003. Sprint Nextel continues to be the industry leader in location-based services by offering the largest portfolio of wireless mobility solutions for enterprise, general business and consumers. The consumer applications include turn-by-turn directions, point-of-interest and specialty applications such as Garmin Mobile, TeleNav, BiM Active, Sprint Family Locator, Rand McNally Mobile Travel Tools, and MapQuest Find Me. Frost & Sullivan recognized Sprint Nextel with the 2005 Company of the Year Award in LBS for excellence in successfully deploying and delivering location services and solutions.