New 4G GPS Devices in 2020

We’re excited to announce that, from early next year, we're adding GPS tracking devices to our range that support 4G coverage across Spark, Vodafone and 2Degrees.

Posted by Todd on 28th November 2019

We'll be one of the first companies in New Zealand to provide this level of coverage. Spark, 2Degrees and Vodafone are putting large investment into rapidly installing 4G towers across the country, including in the regions.

We will continue to offer our 3G devices which fallback to 2G as our cheaper alternative, which gives better coverage than the 2G only devices. We’ll still have available low cost 2G Cross Country variant for those that are looking for a budget device.

Why is the mobile phone network even relevant to Fleetpin?

Many people ask us why the mobile phone network is important when GPS devices use satellites. It is true that GPS devices use satellites, however GPS satellites are only used to obtain position and time data. This data must be transmitted to the cloud from your GPS device so that you are able to use that data in the Fleetpin user interface. Therefore every device is fitted with a SIM card that enables the data to be transmitted over the mobile phone network.

GPS tracking networks

There are currently three mobile network providers in New Zealand: Vodafone, Spark and 2 Degrees. But, there are currently four available networks: 2G (Vodafone only), 3G (all 3), 4G (all 3) and 5G (Spark & Vodafone).

2G

2G currently has the largest single network connectivity to GPS devices and Vodafone has a monopoly on this network. It is also the oldest network and is expected to be available to 2025 when it’s future will be reviewed. With the many hundreds of thousands of devices (power meters, parking meters, irrigation systems, etc) using this network, the transition away from this network will be a lengthy process.

3G

3G is the first network in New Zealand where all 3 telcos are operating the same compatible network technology, and GPS devices are now widely available on this network at competitive prices. It’s unclear how long the 3G network will be supported in New Zealand. Other countries have started phasing 3G out in favor of 4G and 5G coverage.

4G

4G is the latest generation of wide area transmission and all telcos are rapidly building towers on this network to expand coverage regionally and in rural areas. With active investment in the expansion of 4G coverage, this network will very soon give the best mobile phone coverage in New Zealand across all providers.

5G

5G is a future high speed network that still very much in its infancy in New Zealand, being only available in a few cities. This network technology does promise some exciting advances in mobile connectivity in terms of bandwidth and speed, but many of these benefits don’t really apply to GPS tracking and widespread regional coverage will be many years away.

6G

Yes. Technology never stands still. There is a 6G specification in the works!

So, what is Fleetpin doing?

We have jumped ahead of the pack in providing the best possible live tracking capability whilst maintaining fair pricing that adds real value and future certainty for customers. By combining our new 4G GPS tracking hardware with our global SIM cards, we can provide the best possible connectivity throughout New Zealand (and even overseas!).

Global SIM Cards

We have partnered with an international SIM card provider that allows our devices to roam across all 3 New Zealand telcos on the 3G and 4G networks. This means that the devices are able to transmit live data more often. The sims cards also enable our devices to work off-shore - we have devices operating in Australia, Fiji, Rarotonga, United Kingdom and Europe. Best of all, there are no additional roaming costs - it’s the same price no matter where you are in the world.

GPS Tracking Devices

We have also selected competitively priced devices from our suppliers that can fallback to another network or provider if the signal drops out on the currently connected one. This provides even more live tracking capability.

Example: Our 3G devices will roam Spark, 2 Degrees and Vodafone 3G network giving 3 possible transmission options. If no towers are available the devices will use a tower transmitting Vodafone 2G, providing a total of 4 possible connection options.

Our new 4G devices will roam across all 3 telcos 4G networks, and then fall back to 3G networks, providing a total of 6 possible connection points.

For mobile coverage maps, check out these links:

Need even more coverage? Tracking in the wop-wops?

We’re testing satellite only GPS devices in the field with a few customers. These ping from anywhere in the world and can be used for assets in remote locations for anti-theft, machine productivity and health and safety. Contact us for more info on this.

So, give me a summary?

You get more reliable live tracking connectivity so you’re able to better manage your business with the most up to date real-time data. We all know that coverage in some areas of New Zealand is patchy, and is better with Spark in some areas, and in other areas with Vodafone or 2Degrees. However, with a Fleetpin GPS device you don’t need to worry about choosing between these networks, because we work across them all! Plus, all devices still have onboard memory so that if they go outside of mobile coverage areas they will transmit the delayed data when they come back into coverage.

If you're interested in being a first-mover with the 4G devices, give Todd or John a call to talk about the details - and we'll be rolling out more information on this in early January 2020.

Photo by Tony Stoddard on Unsplash