Nextel Poll Finds Transportation Companies Choosing BlackBerry Devices, Deploying WLANs and Preparing for RFID
RESTON, VA — A new opinion poll of information technology and telecom decision makers at U.S. transportation companies released on February 4 shows increased adoption of wireless technology in day-to-day business operations as a cost-effective way to improve operations and customer service.This movement is being fueled by the availability of push-to-talk service, wireless local area network (WLAN) and global positioning systems (GPS) solutions, as well as a desire by companies to extend their wireless barcode scanning capabilities.The survey, commissioned by Nextel and conducted by Harris Interactive, which polled 78 transportation executives across the United States, found the industry’s top four uses of wireless technology as cellular calls (98 percent) for use by executives and sales staff, push-to-talk service (69 percent), BlackBerry devices (58 percent) and barcode scanning (60 percent). In addition, transportation firms highlighted the growing use of WLANs for their office campuses and warehouses.The transportation sector also identified geographic coverage (67 percent) as the primary criterion for selecting a wireless carrier, far outpacing data network speeds (9 percent) and pricing (11 percent), opening the door for providers who can extend their geographic reach to include deeper in-building coverage. GPS technology is more widely used within the transportation industry, with 69 percent of respondents using GPS for navigation and routing updates. A majority (61 percent) of transportation firms also said they see a need for a combination of cellular and WiFi capabilities, while nearly half (45 percent) of respondents thought a wireless phone integrated with a handheld PC or BlackBerry device would be useful.