High-tech industry leaders team up to accelerate RFID adoption

Telecom giant AT&T Inc. and its subsidiary, Sterling Commerce, is 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 users 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.

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.

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.

BEA's RFID technology is designed to manage readers and other devices, filter and coordinate with operational processes, and provide reliable delivery of and access to RFID data to business applications.

Symbol Technologies is providing the RFID hardware to round out the overall offering, including mobile and fixed RFID readers. The collaboration allows Symbol readers to read UHF RFID tags and pass the information securely to the AT&T network and have the readers managed remotely.

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