SAI launches program with GPS tech partner

Monday, July 1, 2002

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.-In one of the company's first major partnerships that revolve around the use of GPS technology, Security Associates planned to launch a new program for consumer GPS location technology July 1.

The partnership with Bainbridge Island, Wash.-based Airbiquity centers on Airbiquity's GPS accessory, a battery for mobile phones that is equipped with a GPS location device. The battery can be attached to 44 different models of Nokia mobile phones, or about 1/3 of the entire mobile phone installed base in the U.S., said Jim Stevens, director of special markets for SAI.

Through the alliance, SAI will provide its dealers with the Airbiquity GPS battery and if needed, can supply a compatible Nokia phone and a calling plan through a national carrier, Stevens said. The cornerstone of the program for SAI is the monitoring of the GPS signal from the accessory, which will be handled through the company's branded StreetSafe GPS service from a dedicated GPS center in Pompano Beach, Fla.

"The consumers that alarm dealers are doing business with are the best prospects for this type of service," Stevens said. "SAI is saying to the alarm industry that we are developing a host of products that allow you to expand your security offeringto protect the occupants of the home when they are outside the home when they're most vulnerable."
Stevens said the company anticipates a "rapid ramp-up of subscribers" of between 40,000 to 50,000 by the year's end.

In conjunction with Airbiquity, SAI dealers will receive a series of co-branded sales literature for the service and should expect to see other co-branded marketing activities done by the two companies, said Andy Rimkus, vice president of marketing for Airbiquity.

"We like the approach that SAI is taking," Rimkus said. "It's bridging that gap between the house into the mobile state. It's very natural."