A new GSM module developed for the recently launched RockFLEET vessel tracking system introduces least cost routing functionality via terrestrial networks, giving users the opportunity to transmit position data via Iridium globally and switch to terrestrial networks when in range.
With user-definable position reports or short text messages from anywhere in the world costing as little as £0.03 (see SBD Service Plans), RockFLEET is already a highly competitive solution for vessel and fleet tracking and low-cost two-way messaging at sea. Launched in September 2014, Rock Seven (now trading as Ground Control)’s latest Iridium-based satellite tracking system now offers even greater cost control with the ability to send position reports to the shore office using GSM data when in range.
RockFLEET GSM functionality is a factory-fitted option that doesn’t change the size or compact form of the RockFLEET unit. It has no additional antenna for GSM use and can be supplied with a global roaming GSM SIM – or users can choose to install their own SIM from their preferred provider.
In addition to enabling least-cost routing of data (GSM when inshore and Iridium when offshore), users can take advantage of the increased throughput at a lower cost on GSM to send more data more often. This is especially relevant for the efficiency of coastal and inland vessels, considering the recent introduction of an M2M (machine-to-machine) data module for RockFLEET and its potential telemetry and automation applications.
“We continue to develop new capabilities for RockFLEET based on customer requests and market trends,” says Nick Farrell, director at Rock Seven t/a Ground Control. “The GSM module can reduce operational costs by switching to cheaper mobile networks, but it also gives access to more bandwidth than available offshore, so it can facilitate increased usage of RockFLEET position data transmission, two-way messaging, or M2M applications without increasing costs.”
Though focused on operational costs, RockFLEET is a sophisticated, rugged tracking device designed for maritime and land vehicle use. With no annual contract and pay-as-you-go use, RockFLEET is designed to simplify and reduce the cost of single vessel and entire fleet tracking, supporting ship and vehicle owners to increase safety and efficiency through improved fleet management. It provides pole-to-pole global position data using the Iridium short burst data (SBD) capability.
RockFLEET is the only GPS vessel-tracking device with an internal battery back-up, so it can continue to transmit position for up to two weeks if external power is cut. With facility to mount RockFLEET covertly, this makes it especially suitable for vessels traversing piracy hotspots.