Complete guide to SIM cards for GPS trackers

In the current era, where mobility and efficient resource management are crucial, GPS tracking devices have gained significant prominence. Companies, individuals, and various industries rely on these devices for tracking vehicles and equipment. In this context, SIM cards play an essential role in enabling connectivity and data transmission.

This Guinea Mobile article delves into the various aspects related to SIM cards for GPS trackers, from their types to the proper configuration of the Access Point Name (APN).

What is GPS tracking?

GPS tracking, or Global Positioning System, is a technology that allows determining the exact location of an object or person anywhere in the world.

This technology is based on a network of artificial satellites orbiting the Earth and emitting radio signals that are picked up by receiver devices, such as mobile phones, smartwatches, or trackers.

GPS works through the triangulation of signals emitted by at least three satellites, allowing the calculation of the exact position of the receiver device. This information is used to display the location on a map and provide precise real-time directions.

Types of devices and applications for GPS tracking

There is a wide variety of devices and applications designed for GPS tracking, each with its own features and functionalities. Some of the most common include:

Mobile phones: Equipped with integrated GPS SIM cards, mobile phones are versatile and accessible devices for GPS tracking.

Smartwatches: These wearable devices feature GPS technology and are ideal for sports or outdoor recreational activities.

Trackers: External devices that can be attached or installed in objects or persons to track them using GPS. External devices that can be hidden or camouflaged in objects or persons to track them without their knowledge or consent.

SIM cards for GPS trackers

GPS trackers are devices designed to track the location of various objects, from vehicles to cargo containers. To constantly transmit location information, these devices require internet access and data transmission, which is possible thanks to SIM cards.

There are several types of SIM cards available for GPS trackers, with M2M (machine to machine) and IoT (Internet of Things) SIM cards being the most common.

M2M SIM cards are specifically designed for devices that need to send and receive data over cellular networks. In the case of IoT devices, M2M SIM cards can share data directly with other devices and software, facilitating the management of the GPS tracking platform.

Often, the terms “M2M SIM” and “IoT SIM” are used interchangeably to refer to these cards. Since their introduction in 1991, the primary function of a SIM card has been to serve as a subscriber identity module, storing information used to authenticate users and connect devices to the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM).

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Differences between IoT SIM and standard mobile SIM cards

One of the main differences between IoT SIM cards and standard mobile SIM cards lies in their durability.

IoT SIM cards are designed to withstand adverse conditions and can operate for years without needing to be replaced. In addition to their durability, IoT SIM cards offer advanced features, such as the ability to be managed remotely and compatibility with data plan aggregations, contributing to keeping IoT connectivity cost-effective.

They can also have fixed IP addresses, improving their reliability and security. IoT SIM cards are widely available on the market through various channels, such as telecommunications operators and e-commerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba.

Some GPS tracker vendors even offer devices that include a pre-installed IoT SIM card, providing a ready-to-use solution for users.

APN configuration: key aspects for connection

The Access Point Name (APN) plays a crucial role in connecting GPS trackers to the cellular network. It acts as an intermediary between the network and the devices, adding a layer of security to the communication.

Properly configuring the APN is essential to ensure that the GPS tracker connects to the server and effectively transmits the location information. Each telecommunications operator has its own APN settings that must be configured on the device.

Generally, the APN configuration is done through specific SMS commands, sent to the SIM card number used in the GPS tracker. Most devices include a configuration guide that provides detailed instructions on this process.

It is important to note that when crossing the borders of other countries, problems with APN configuration may arise due to differences in telecommunications operators’ settings. In such cases, it is necessary to reconfigure the APN to ensure the continuous operation of the GPS tracker.

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Conclusion

SIM cards play a crucial role in the operation of GPS trackers, providing the necessary connectivity to securely and efficiently transmit location data.

Understanding the differences between SIM card types and correctly configuring access points are fundamental steps to ensure the optimal functioning of GPS tracking devices.

By doing so, users can make the most of their devices’ capabilities and maintain effective monitoring of their assets at all times.

Your company can also be part of this digital transformation; don’t miss this great opportunity that Guinea Mobile has for you. Contact us for personalized advice.