Sprint to Allow Child Tracking

Sprint unveiled a new service Thursday that will allow parents to track their children via cell phones in an attempt to attract more families to the carrier. Parents would be able to see the location of their children via a map on either a computer or a cell phone.

Accuracy of the reading would vary from as little as two yards to as many as several hundred yards, according to Sprint.

Using GPS technology built into cell phones for use in emergencies to help 911 personnel pinpoint the location of callers, the Family Locator feature would cost $9.99 USD per month. The service could be installed on 17 phones in the company's lineup, however the mapping function could be viewed on twice as many phones.

Parents could instruct the service to send a text message at certain times of day to confirm the locations of their children. Additionally, children would know when their parents are checking up on them -- the service would notify the child via text message.

Family plans have become a large source of revenue for many wireless providers. As many as 6 out of every 10 new subscribers come as part of a family plan, according to recent data. Analysts say Sprint has underperformed in this market, with only about a 12 percent share of all multi-line plans.

However, such a service may be a tough sell; it's estimated only two percent of current mobile subscribers would be interested in people-locating services.

Disney also plans a similar offering when it begins renting space on the Sprint network for its cell service in June. Pricing for Disney Mobile has not been announced.

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