Global Positioning Systems (GPS) have transformed the way we live. It is easy to take for granted how heavily we rely on this technology for everyday use in navigation, banking, and autonomous technology. Unlike most innovations which become cheaper over time with increased competition, GPS location technology is an exception to this rule. It remains a costly endeavor and many businesses who rely on GPS technology often find their operational expenses around its use tend to increase, rather then decrease over time.

Evolution of GPS

GPS started as a US military invention for global communication and has become a public resource via 24 carefully coordinated satellites that orbit the earth. Other countries also have their own satellite positioning networks; GLONASS in Russia, BeiDou in China and Galileo in the European Union. While the use of the technology is free (if you have the appropriate device) it takes almost 2 million USD a day in tax dollars to maintain and operate the system.

Infographic: The Evolution of GPS

GPS is an example of always-on data streaming that makes IoT complex and expensive. GPS satellites are constantly broadcasting a signal, and GPS receiver devices are always listening to multiple satellites to calculate a precise location. It is a processor-intensive system that eats up a significant percentage of battery just connecting to the satellite. One additional drawback of this technology is that it only works outdoors where there are no solid objects to obstruct satellites views. For the industry to deliver on the promise of billions of IoT devices, businesses will need a low-cost alternative with more coverage than GPS.

Location as a Service (LaaS)

Polte is disrupting the IoT space as the only company providing location information over cellular (C-LoC) to create a low cost and power efficient location solution.

The ability to use cellular location-based services (LBS) from the LTE networks is a boon for Mobile IoT. Through the use of existing LTE infrastructure, Polte can provide location information deep indoors, in remote locations outdoors, and underground. LTE removes the necessity of attaching components for other kinds of location technology such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID and GPS/GNSS radios. It is the technology that allows GeoTraq to provide ultra-small tracker-modules and sensor-modules. Not only does Polte’s technology reduce deployment costs by way of less components, it also removes the battery drain issue by using 50x less power than a traditional GPS receiver.

Polte C-LoC services can be uploaded wirelessly to IoT devices at any time, even after deployment. Polte uses over-the-air (OTA) firmware to enable the technology. Companies who want to add LTE positioning to their IoT solution benefit by not having to redesign existing devices to add location tracking technology. It is an especially useful feature for enterprises who wish to retrofit existing products and services with asset tracking technology.

Businesses looking to add a secure, power efficient positioning capability to their IoT solution will be happy with this affordable and component light technology.

Want to hear more about non-GPS location alternatives for IoT? Click the banner below and listen to the webinar Enabling the Next Billion Things: IoT Innovation Pillars that Drive Success.