The Toronto Sun uses Mobitex to increase
newspaper sales. After completing a six-month pilot project using Canadian operator Rogers AT&T Wireless' Mobitex network and an application developed by Mobile Computing Corporation
(MCC), the Sun is now ready to introduce Mobitex throughout its distribution network.
Toronto Sun goes wireless
Daily newspapers are distributed by independent contractors to retail outlets and vending boxes in cities across North America. Naturally, the timing of newspaper delivery is critical. For morning papers, contractors receive shipments anytime between midnight and 3 am. The drivers who pick up the papers for the contractors can adjust their loads if they think they can sell more papers on a given day. However, the Toronto Sun's income can be greatly reduced when papers are returned unsold or when retail outlets and boxes run out of papers.
MCC developed a mobile distribution system for the Toronto Sun that downloads the newspaper distribution information over the Mobitex network to a mobile PC on board the delivery truck. As the trucks complete their deliveries, they can record if the newspaper stand was empty or if not, how many papers were left. This information is then transmitted back to the host computer over the Mobitex network. With this information, the Toronto Sun is able to develop statistics that determine how many papers to produce for a given date and for each sales location. This in turn increases sales and minimizes the amount of papers unsold.
"Rogers AT&T Wireless offers us exceptional value and efficient, high-performance mobile data communications," says Guy Huntingford, Manager of information Systems at the Toronto Sun. The Sun is the largest single-copy paper in Canada. More than 250,000 new papers are printed daily. By the end of 1995, more than 100 contractors will be using the new Mobitex application.