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AT&T Introduces Managed RFID Service

AT&T is the latest technology giant to enter the RFID industry. Through a partnership with Symbol, BEA, and Intel, the company last week announced a managed RFID service that it hopes will "accelerate mass adoption" of the technology.
May 30, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

May 30, 2006—AT&T is the latest technology giant to enter the RFID industry. Through a partnership with Symbol, BEA, and Intel, the company last week announced a managed RFID service that it hopes will "accelerate mass adoption" of the technology. As with other global technology firms like IBM and Sun Microsystems that have staked out territory in RFID, AT&T is taking the long-term view that RFID is just another sensor and represents only the first step toward the eventuality of universal sensor networks (USNs).

The new offering, which is being carried out with AT&T subsidiary Sterling Commerce, aims to simplify and secure the end-to-end deployment of RFID. The company cites the diversity of existing technology infrastructures as a major hurdle to RFID deployment and has designed its solution to make the integration of RFID devices "as simple to manage and as secure as any other network element". Intel will work with AT&T to produce "reference architectures" that aid both RFID hardware vendors in their development of better equipment and end users in learning how to best deploy RFID. BEA will provide its Weblogic RFID Edge Server and Enterprise Server software to allow remote management of RFID readers and the data they generate. Lastly, Symbol will provide its fixed and mobile readers.

AT&T's announcement is a follow-up to one the company made at the EPCglobal US Conference last September (see Siemens and AT&T Jump Into RFID). At the time, the company announced 90-day trials for its "managed, end-to-end, hosted RFID services" but was largely light on specifics, like which software and hardware products would comprise the solution. Presumably, then, last week's announcement confirms that the trials have completed, and successfully enough that the company has formalized the offering. It will be interesting to see how receptive the market is to a household brand name but a relative newcomer to RFID.

Read the announcement from AT&T
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