Last updated: 01:17 PM ET, Thu January 16 2014

AT&T, Sabre Developing New Mobile Services for Travel Industry

Travel Technology Sabre Travel Network Ryan Rudnansky January 16, 2014

AT&T, Sabre Developing New Mobile Services for Travel Industry

AT&T and travel technology company Sabre are jointly exploring how device-based location information services can help airlines, airport retailers, and other travel-related companies deliver predictive and personalized services throughout a traveler’s journey.

This personalization would be done through AT&T’s newly-enhanced Location Information Services (LIS), which sets up “geo-fences” or virtual perimeters based on cellular, GPS and Wi-Fi information. Knowing when travelers leave these geo-fences will help companies provide better personalized services and offers.          

“By applying cutting edge technologies, coupled with data analytics and better intelligence, we can give travelers the personalized experience they have come to expect in today’s connected world,” said Sarah Kennedy, director, Sabre Labs, the technology incubator and research lab at Sabre. “Together with AT&T, we will explore the role advanced location-based services can have in helping travel suppliers provide better, more personal service to their customers.”

The ideal app would alert airline staff when a high-status passenger is still clearing security when his flight is due to depart, notify travelers of special promotions as they approach an airport bookstore, or warn a passenger if she is in the wrong terminal for her connecting flight. The two companies are hoping to use this technology for all types of smartphones, tablets and operating systems. 

Any services developed as part of the trial will meet location services best practices guidelines when it comes to customer privacy, including customer opt-in.

“Our application programming interface, or API, and software development kit allows companies like Sabre to build multi-carrier geo-aware mobile applications,” said Laura Merling, vice president of Ecosystem Development and Platform Solutions, AT&T. “AT&T LIS Hybrid works with WiFi as well as existing cellular device-based information location services such as GPS, to deliver near-precise device location information indoors and outdoors.”

Phase one of the pilot project between Sabre and AT&T is expected to be completed during the first half of 2014.