SIGFOX - 

A New Way 

of Tracking

"and we are pushing the limits"

SIGFOX in few words

  • SIGFOX is using Ultra-Narrow Band (UNB) Radio Technology.
  • Ultra Low Power Consumption
  • Sending data over very long distances (up to 200kms)
  • A very cost affective tracking solution
  • Each burst of data has a unique key with every device
  • Very difficult to Detect and Jam
  • SIGFOX does work indoors
  • Coverage is expanding almost daily across the Globe

How is GoTEK7 using SIGFOX

After having carried out intensive testing and live tracking with SIGFOX, it was apparent to us that the majority of IoT tracking devices on the market rely on battery life for their efficiency. However, we at GoTEK7 have always concentrated on performance, guaranteeing the desired level of performance expected with hard core asset tracking. The key is the capability of the GPS receiver and together with other factors, how quickly it can transmit a valid and reliable GPS position.

In accordance with current regulations SIGFOX modules will only send data every ten minutes (or 140 times per day). How does this affect you? Are you going to be satisfied with this level of efficiency demonstrated from solely using SIGFOX devices?

GoTEK7 realised that the opportunity to work with a reputable manufacturer with extensive sector knowledge would provide unique advantages. Combining technologies is always exciting, and the outcomes of this dynamic partnership would enable multiple means of informing users of the location of a device should other technologies fail.

SIGFOX coverage map

24

COUNTRIES

1.4

MILLION KM2 COVERED

358

MILLION PEOPLE CONCERNED

SIGFOX tracking update in the UK

Through carrying out extensive testing of live devices placed out in the fields and across some of the major cities of the UK, we noticed very early on that the Version One board was weak in obtaining GPS positions under extreme conditions. This led us to proceed with a new batch of Version Two boards. Although an improvement in performance was noticeably visible with these boards being able to update more frequently, they failed to function adequately when placed inside buildings. A radical change was needed and a new board layout was the only option available.

Work carried out over the following weeks resulted in a new GPS receiver, including Glonass, and with a larger GPS antenna being developed in conjunction with some firmware changes. Early tests indicate that valid GPS locations are being received within five to eight seconds, which for a board designed without a modem, is an extremely successful outcome.

The Verdict

There are currently very few companies tracking live in the UK when using SIGFOX or LoRa. GoTEK7 are pioneering the way forward in understanding and testing technology of this type; discovering how to acquire a GPS board which performs efficiently under extreme conditions and successfully achieving high performing results. In comparison to the rest of Europe, UK under achieves in terms of coverage. We have witnessed good results in major cities, and with commitment and dedication from SIGFOX, coverage and performance in countryside locations will undoubtedly improve in the future.

SIGFOX Manchester

SIGFOX GPS Tracking in Manchester

SIGFOX Birmingham

SIGFOX GPS Tracking in Birmingham

Four technologies on one board

GoTEK7 will give you four technologies on a single board. We have also enhanced the SIGFOX GPS Receiver to be more demanding and also to include Glonass for the first time. Power consumption is slightly more heavy, but it gives you performance that most people expect in today's demanding market for asset tracking.

WiFi Tracking

WiFi Tracking

Satellite Tracking

GPS Tracking

SIM Card Location

SIM Card Location Tracking

SIGFOX Tracking

SIGFOX Tracking

Example of how the board is able to track devices.

Imagine you are tracking a single pallet of tools located in a van, which has neither a window nor any open area to the driver’s cab. Using our panel, you have requested to be informed once the vehicle moves. Our combined technology provides two methods of achieving this - either the SIGFOX module will transmit the data or the GPRS module will automatically do so.

To continue with this scenario, imagine the vehicle is now travelling along a motorway. Using the GSM section of the board, you will be able to monitor the pallets every ten seconds with the SIGFOX module transmitting its location every ten minutes. Additionally, should the GPS fail, GSM and Wi-Fi capability will enable you to automatically locate the position of the SIM card within the device, highlighting this for you on a map.

How does Wi-Fi tracking capability operate?

Wi-Fi positioning can either be set automatically or requested by location. The device will search for available Wi-Fi connections in a similar manner as your mobile phone does. However, although your mobile phone can locate these connections it cannot connect to them as they are protected with a security key. Our board transmits at least four of these Wi-Fi addresses to our server, which we then send to our global database of Wi-Fi and cell location services. Within seconds these then return both a longitude and latitude reference, enabling us to place these on a map.

Relying on one method of detection, such as SIGFOX, for tracking a small board inside a pallet of tools travelling within a vehicle, can therefore be described as unreliable and indeed dangerous. It is likely that many customers would be concerned about only being able to receive a positioning location every ten minutes, and so this is an area where combining technologies gives you not only a choice but an added peace of mind and security that the board can accurately transmit the required information.

Jamming and Detection with the combo board.

Most tracking devices can be jammed and detected. The combo board can also be detected, but only the GSM and GPS sections of the board.

So how do you prevent detection or jamming?

SIGFOX is very difficult to detect and jam. It is possible if you have the necessary time, money and the dedicated expertise, but the majority of the available detection or jamming equipment will not come close to being able to perform this function.

Should you drive a vehicle with a cigarette GPS jammer connected to it, you will be able to remotely switch off the GSM section of our board. This effectively shuts down everything except the SIGFOX transmission, which will continue to transmit every ten minutes whilst in motion and every hour when stationary.

This GSM section can be switched off according to individual requirements. Select whether to turn it off for days, hours, inform it to wake every ‘x’ number of hours or report a position and turn off, the choice is yours. Once the GSM section is turned off, you are not transmitting any RF.

Battery life is important but there are sacrifices

SIGFOX will only consume 20-25 Mah per transmission, which is a remarkable achievement considering the huge distances of operation. Our board does consume more power than most SIGFOX boards. We have a combination of four technologies with the flexibility to switch either of these on or off. Both GPS receivers on this board are extremely low power but perform to a high level. The GPS antennas are the largest we could place on this small board and the size of these play an important part in terms of accuracy and performance.

Allowing the SIGFOX section to get a GPS position was also very complex, particularly under extreme conditions. Most SIGFOX trackers will attempt to get a GPS position every ‘x’ number of hours or every ten minutes whilst in motion. However, we did find this to be a difficult exercise. It would not pose a problem if the SIGFOX device faces the sky or is positioned near a window, but this does not reflect reality. GoTEK7 and the team in the south of France concentrated a great deal of time and effort into ensuring that our board would be able to cope with this. Implementing changes on an engineer’s desk was one thing, but sending devices out in the real world and watching the data was the only method to really gain the solution to this dilemma.

So consuming more power is a fact, but through your own personal decisions, you can manage this new combo board to last for has long as you require. After all, you are the controller of the panel.

IoT and the combination of this technology

SIGFOX and LoRa are changing the face of future communications with small data packets that can reach far and wide. This technology allows companies to be informed of many variants like temperature, movement and even sound as well as enabling manufactures of electrical items to inform you when something is possibly going to break down. Our focus will be directed on tracking and alerting, completely altering GPS tracking as we know it today. After all, viewing a device move from five seconds gives many benefits to those who wish to be updated with positions almost immediately.

How will this work and what are the advantages

SIGFOX is a remarkable piece of technology, it requires no network coverage at all, so having SIGFOX onboard is so important. Jamming and detecting such tracking devices using low tech equipment that can be purchased from online stores, are readily available to those wishing to use such items. To eliminate detection/jamming/loss of network or none at all, contributes a huge part in using SIGFOX within our new generation of devices.

This is a 5starstarstarstarstar board it has all the luxury you want in such a device. The flexibility to turn off the modem when you wish and allow SIGFOX to do what it was designed to do. The ability for a board to automatically give you a location via various ways.

A board that has two powerful GPS receivers, a board that will talk to you even if the networks fail, a board that gives you complete freedom to travel across the globe, a board that is changing the tracking industry.