Aether snags Nextel as partner

Nextel Communications Inc., Reston, Va., and Aether Systems Inc., Owings Mills, Md., are offering cell phones that will allow police officers to query national crime databases.

Although the partnership has yet to result in any sales, it represents an important milestone for Aether Systems in its quest of the law enforcement market, said Mike Layman, a senior product marketing manager for the company.

Layman said Nextel is well-respected in that marketplace, thanks to its walkie talkies, two-way radios and other mobile technologies. He would not comment on how much in additional sales the partnership would bring Aether.

The solution uses Aether PocketBlue software used on Nextel's Java-enabled cellular phones. An officer in the field could use the phones to check the license plates of a car to see if it is a stolen vehicle.

He could also check a name against criminal databases, using Nextel's nationwide wireless network as a conduit and Aether integrated mobile data systems to provide the interface to databases.


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