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GeoSIMs Global M2M system has recently* been used for reliably tracking a Yacht in the Ionian Sea, Greece, without a data connection or roaming charges in sight!
During a week long “cruise” GeoSIMs tracker covered over 130 miles around the Ionian islands, entering areas where no GPRS data connection was available and mobile phone network coverage “sparse”, however, tracking capability was reliably maintained throughout the voyage.
GeoSIMS M2M service utilises USSD messaging to pass messages across the GSM networks. USSD messaging is integral to the GSM global network and is commonly used for functions such as adding prepaid top up credit to accounts or dialling short codes to check voicemail or call credit balances. It is “instant” and more reliable than SMS.
GeoSIM M2M service can be used to pass any alpha numeric data between a remote device and a server. In this instance, the Yacht trackers GPS position was sent to GeoSIMs mapping portal in real time. However, it could be used for any type of monitoring or control applications where small packets of data or messages need to be sent back and forth between a remote device and server. So how does GeoSIMs GeoM2M service differ and what are its advantages over GPRS and SMS for data delivery, not only for tracking applications, but for any service or M2M application requiring the delivery of alphanumeric data packets accros a GSM network? In short, USSD messaging is faster and more reliable than SMS, it does not require a GPRS, 3G or 4G data connection. Provided a mobile phone signal available, data can be sent to and from the device. USSD uses minimal power, so battery powered devices last much longer between charges.
Fundamentally and importantly, USSD does not suffer from any roaming charges…no matter where the SIM is located in the world; there are no additional roaming charges to contend with.
Tests during the 2013 London Marathon proved that GeoSIMs's USSD service a much more reliable method of delivering position data (or M2M data) than GPRS and SMS when GSM networks are congested.
GeoSIM collaborates with Jemmac Software on a number of projects, including GeoSIM's USSD tracking system. Jemmac software developer James ran the London 2013 Marathon carrying GeoSIMs test tracker. The tracker sent James’s position at 60 seconds intervals using GPRS, SMS and GeoSIM's USSD M2M service. Analysis showed that only about 50% of positions sent by GPRS arrived and "most" SMS relayed positions arrived but some were delayed.
In contrast 100% of positions sent by USSD arrived at the mapping server, thus allowing friends, family and sponsors to accurately track James’s progress.
GPS tracking devices are "Ten a penny" and there are numerous companies offering global tracking services using various types of tracking devices. However, they have one fundamental flaw..... and that is that they typically use a GPRS data connection or SMS to send the positions to the customers mapping portal.
They are not truly "global" as they usually use a local SIM card to connect to the local mobile phone network. This is fine, but as soon at the so called "global" tracking device leaves its "home country" it is then in a Data Roaming scenario, which means tracking becomes very expensive and can suffer from limited network coverage.
In a roaming situation, GPRS data connections can be "unstable", slow and difficult to connect to. SMS are often delayed or do not reach the recipient at all!
A global SIM card such as GeoSIM could be used, and many of our customers use GeoSIMs in their GPS trackers utilising the traditional GPRS data connection available in many countries....but there is a much cheaper, reliable, faster slicker solution! GeoSIMs M2M service can transmit GPS position data (or any other position data) directly from the tracker to your server.....without any roaming charges, without any delay, from any of 200 countries on over 550 networks.... very cheaply.
Why not contact us with your specific M2M requirements and we'll be happy to discuss your ideas and explore possible solutions for your application.