GPS Trackers and how they work.
by ahmad issa
First of all, GPS stands for Global Positioning System. GPS is a tracking method to work out exactly where something is. It could track the exact location of a vehicle, a cell phone, or some other handheld device. It can also track the movement. As an example, a GPS tracker can be used by a company to monitor the route and progress of a delivery truck, or by a parent to check on the location of their child or the family dog.
A tracking system uses the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) network, consisting of 24 satellites and many more ground stations. In order to communicate, microwave signals are sent between the satellite and the device to give information on location, speed, time and direction. All cell phones, for instance, constantly broadcast a radio signal, even when you’re not on a call.
GPS technology has become common in smartphones and knowing a smartphone’s location can be used for several different purposes. One area that has grown the last couple of years, is hyper-local mobile advertising. Say for instance that you’re the Marketing Manager at McDonald’s. By using location-based marketing, you can send promo codes to a person’s phone who’s walking past a McDonald’s. You could also send out notifications to people driving, saying “you’re only X miles away from the nearest McDonalds”.
SIM Card & GPS Trackers
Any GPS Tracker has a receiver to triangulate its own position from the satellite signals. Most trackers need a SIM card in order to achieve connectivity. SIM cards are what allow location transmission, sending audio data, and receiving commands to turn on audio and other advanced features. Example of trackers powered by a GSM SIM card are:
- Asian TK103B
- Reach far
- Vision One
- Panadol DZ09
- Samsung Gear S3
- Trax Family
- Covert Gear
Most of the trackers mentioned above are currently getting prepaid affordable plans from US Mobile. A text and data plan for a GPS Tracker is just $6/month.
If you’re using a so-called GPS Watch, or Phone tracker to track your kid or maybe for someone to keep track of you, you will also need a cellular plan. These watches or trackers tend to use very limited data since it’s just giving location instead of downloading big files or streaming videos. Some watches you can text with, and some you can call with. Overall your plan can be kept very small though.
Let’s say you have a smartwatch that uses talk, text, and data, it should be enough with US Mobile’s smallest plans. In fact, the 100 min, 100 test, and 100 MB for $9/monhth is the most common plan among our customers using our prepaid SIM card for their watches.