Both cellular and GPS technology are used in a range of devices and predominantly they are used for location tracking. These tracking devices may offer a similar service, but the two differ a great deal. Let’s take a look at the key differences between cellular and GPS, and more importantly which is the best option between the two of them for businesses.
The differences between GPS tracking and cellular tracking are slight, but they do exist and they do make a difference.
Let’s begin with GPS tracker technology, a government backed service which utilises 31 satellites which orbit the Earth. To deliver the location of a device, radio waves are bounced from the device and between 4 satellites which then delivers the information back to the device. The average accuracy which GPS trackers can deliver is upto 4 metres.
Now the pros of using a GPS tracking device are that the technology is free to use and that it can be used anywhere on the planet. With this being said there are some negatives of using GPS. This technology uses radio waves, and these can be blocked by cloud and tree cover, or when surrounded by tall buildings. These poor conditions can result in less accurate location tracking, which can cause issues for the user.
Cellular technology is a broader term which is used to describe location tracking through the use of either Wi-Fi or sim-based technology. Unlike GPS tracking, cellular technology can work very well in heavily built up areas. This is because of the fact that data is crowdsourced between local users. This crowdsourcing works well through both Wi-Fi and sim-based options, and it delivers a highly accurate location.
Unfortunately however, whilst this technology does perform better than GPS in many cases, there are some big drawbacks of this for location tracking. The main disadvantage is the network coverage, there is still so much of the planet which doesn’t have Wi-Fi or has a poor network signal. In these situations, cellular technology completely fails. Cost is another factor here, unlike using tracking devices for free with GPS, cellular depends on a subscription or preloaded credit.
Is Cellular Best?
From a business perspective it is fair to say that whilst cellular technology does provide a more accurate location, a GPS tracking device would be the smarter option. For most businesses managing a fleet of vehicles, the difference between 4 metre accuracy and 10 metre accuracy means very little. What does mean something however is cost, and through the use of GPS tracking businesses can ensure that they get location tracking without having to spend as much money on it.
The use of a GPS tracker will also ensure that drivers are located around the clock, and not just when they have internet connection. Finally, battery life also has to be taken into consideration, which is something that a GPS device can certainly deliver, but this is not always the case with cellular devices.
Businesses will always be better off using GPS technology.