AT&T and its subsidiary, Sterling Commerce, are partnering with industry leaders, Intel, BEA Systems and Symbol Technologies to design and deploy radio-frequency identification (RFID) device services and networks for business customers. The goal of this initiative is to provide business customers with a best-of-breed managed RFID service and standardization of RFID technology by accelerating the mass adoption of RFID through the evolution to universal sensor networks (USN).

Currently conducting customer trials, scheduled for completion by mid-2006, the companies are working on network solutions that incorporate end-to-end services for RFID networks across diverse hardware platforms, operating systems, applications and databases — one of today's major challenges confronting RFID technology. Through this initiative, AT&T is seeking to make RFID devices as simple to manage and as secure as any other network element in response to growing customer demand for an integrated affordable service.

“As RFID becomes more widely deployed, network reliability, security and data integrity become increasingly critical,” said Eric Shepcaro, senior vice president-business development of AT&T. “And for most companies, the task of ensuring those three things will be overwhelming and complex, especially across multiple hardware platforms and configurations and diverse supplier and partner networks and databases. We're leveraging our investments and expertise in managing and securing networks, including Sterling Commerce supply chain solutions that encompass warehouse management, multichannel order management and, with the acquisition of Nistevo, transportation management solutions, to transform the way companies use RFID and sensor-based technology to manage their business.”

AT&T and its partners are working with RFID standards groups like the Internet Engineering Task Force and EPCGlobal US, an affiliate of EPCglobal Inc., to improve the manageability and protocol support of RFID devices.

As an extension of its previously announced collaboration, the Intel worldwide professional services organization, Intel Solution Services, is co-developing with AT&T Laboratories reference architectures that will establish basic building blocks for RFID devices to improve the management and administration of RFID readers and sensors in a networked environment.

AT&T is collaborating with industry leaders in the development of location-based services, wired, and wireless tracking and specialized network applications.

For more information, visit