Symbol Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:SBL), The Enterprise Mobility Company, has been chosen by the Ministry of Defence to supply rugged mobile computers for its asset tracking system, Theatre Inventory General Equipment Register (TIGER).

The Ministry of Defence is deploying Symbol PPT8800 rugged mobile computers to replace the original fleet of Symbol PDT8100 mobile computers that have been in use since 1997 and run customized software developed by Requisoft.

Given the environment in which they could be operated, we need a mobile computer that can withstand tough conditions, says Captain Michael Trebilcock, the IT lead for the TIGER. Potentially operating in combat conditions, the devices also need to be small, lightweight and easy to operate with minimal training requirements as asset tracking duties are typically conducted by the Territorial Army, who are deployed for short periods of time.

Used to track assets over 10,000 ($18,000), primarily vehicles, as they enter and leave operational theatres, the Symbol PPT8800mobile computers are subjected to a range of extreme environments and temperatures ranging from sub-zero to more than 50C (122F). Known for its durability, the Symbol PPT8800 devices offer IP54 sealing rating and are impervious to sand, dirt and dust and can withstand being dropped from approximately 1.2 meters (four feet) to concrete.

TIGER has saved the Ministry of Defence hundreds of millions of pounds (dollars). According to a National Audit Office report, in Bosnia alone, TIGER enabled the department to recover more than 75 million ($132 million) from the United Nations.

TIGER was first developed in 1997. The majority of assets registered on TIGER are stored under humidity-controlled conditions in Ministry of Defence barracks in the United Kingdom and Germany. Assets are deployed where they are required. In recent times this has included Bosnia, Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan. In the early part of 2005, for example, the Ministry of Defence had approximately 12,000 assets ranging from ISO containers and fuel tanks, to Fighting Tanks and Land Rovers tracked by TIGER in Iraq using Symbol mobile computers. TIGER uses metallic barcodes, produced by Computype, to scan vehicles as they enter and leave peacetime stores and operational theatres.

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