Nextel Expands Services for Mobile Workers

Nextel Communications, Reston, Va., is providing special applications for mobile workers in the transportation, delivery and warehousing industries as well as four-in-one digital wireless capability. These services and applications are available to mobile workers who use the company's premium Web browsing service on one of the company's "plus" phones.

The specialized applications, from a variety of Nextel partners, include:

  • Work order management application for field service technicians via a mobile computer cabled to the "plus" phone

  • Automated order entry

  • Web-based dispatching, remote customer service, field service and supply chain communications

  • Windows-based delivery order management by phone or Internet browser

  • Dispatching capabilities, including the ability to send and receive free-form messages, status updates and job information as well as the ability to keep dispatchers informed of the transmission status of all messages.

    The applications complement the digital four-in-one service, offered in 98 of the nation's top 100 markets through the Nextel "plus" phone, owned by more than three million customers, according to Nextel spokesperson Kara Plamaras. The four-in-one service includes digital cellular, digital two-way radio, wireless Internet and text/numeric paging.

    Unlike many other cellular systems, the digital service enables wireless users to have communications that are always active for a flat fee, rather than paying for every minute of use. The fees vary, depending on the market and the rate plan selected.

    "With this system, workers in the field can instantly receive a message from someone else on the network," Plamaras says. Field force workers can receive messages by phone from any e-mail system from the Nextel message center at the company's Web site (www.nextel.com) or from another Nextel Internet-capable phone.

    Messaging includes a number of other features such as a pre-programmed reply that allows customers to respond to messages with just one push of a button; word ecognition capabilities using specialized software to help with the creation of messages using the phone's keypad; and the ability to store and retrieve messaging addresses on the phone.

    Nextel's message center gives users the ability to send messages and attach replies; check the status of sent messages as well as receive replies; personalize and store preset message replies; store messages for up to seven days; and address group e-mails. Group addressing enables Nextel online customers to send one message to a large workgroup, such as a sales force, and to schedule messages for future delivery.

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