Tripling the size of its truck fleet customer base, Aether Systems will assume responsibility for the Highway Master Series 5000 wireless data communications system under a new agreement with @Track Communications Inc. The agreement also gives Aether ownership of @Track's Trackware trailer tracking system, 20/20V asset tracking system and Platinum Service fleet management system in return for $3 million in cash and $12 million in Aether stock.

Under the agreement, Aether did not buy the rights to the Highway Master communications hardware or communications network. Instead it will support current users and pay @Track for traffic over its cellular-based network. Aether is expected to eventually introduce a new generation of its MobileMax system that it will offer to current Highway Master 5000 users.

Having shed its original Highway Master business, @Track is expected to focus on wireless data systems for service and metro-area fleets with the Minorplanet Vehicle Management Information system.