August 09, 2017


Written by Devon Tamagi


When you think of GPS tracking, you may envision a satellite that was launched into space sometime during the cold war triangulating your location via some kind of techno magic. Although you wouldn’t be entirely wrong, it’s a little more complicated than that. For example, instead of a single GPS satellite, there are currently over 31 active GPS satellites in orbit, and your GPS fleet tracking device is in sight of at least six at any given time. These satellites are simply the start of the process. Real-time GPS location data, plus any other information the GPS tracking device is responsible for collecting, is communicated via cellular networks to cloud-based servers so that the data can also be accessed in real-time. The trouble is that currently, there is a move to abandon one of the cellular network technologies used by a number of carriers. This has resulted in the disruption of service for some devices using the CDMA cellular standard.



Most cellular carriers have actively transitioned their networks to the more evolved GSM standard, building out networks that support HSPA and LTE, which incorporate SIM cards for easy device switching and billing. Currently, Telus, Bell, and Verizon are in the process of replacing the remainder of their legacy CDMA networks to the newer, faster and more reliable wireless network standard. Trouble is they also have to transition their customers still using CDMA only devices.


For the most part, smartphone customers have already made the transition. There are certainly exceptions, but more of an issue is in the space of some slow-speed machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, such as remote water meters and yes, GPS tracking devices. Unlike smartphones that are typically upgraded in increments of less than 3-years, these M2M devices tend to have longer lifespans.



For those using Plug N Track GPS devices, there is no need to worry. All Plug N Track devices utilize modern GSM network infrastructure and will be unaffected by the systematic CDMA shutdown. If your provider has told you that you’ll need to upgrade your hardware or you’re concerned your tracking equipment doesn’t meet the new standard, check out the new standard, Plug N Track GPS.


For those whose fleets have been left out in the cold, contact us. We can help!


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CDMA Transition