Recent innovations in IoT asset tracking are starting to revolutionize the industry, and cases are more affordable than ever before! Advancements in both devices and connectivity technologies in use by the many industries across the globe rely on asset tracking for their day-to-day needs. Industries including the supply chain, healthcare, agriculture, and more will get tremendous benefits from IoT asset tracking for the better.
Asset Tracking plays a critical part in optimizing many businesses’ performance and capabilities, making the processes much more intelligent and efficient. For example, a drug company can track even a small shipment of medicine, verifying it was kept under suitable conditions for the whole journey, and even tell what it consumed, to get an indication of when a new order might appear. Many companies today are coming with consumer product/BLE (Bluetooth) or UWB trackers. This solution is different from cellular asset tracking. This is a complicated solution to deploy and requires an extensive network of devices (android/iPhone) for the sensor to be used as a backhaul to transmit the location.
In this article, we are going to cover the other type of asset tracking. An independent IoT device that can transmit a location back to the cloud. The location can be very accurate, e.g., GPS or more generic like a Cell tower.
What is Asset Tracking?
Before discussing asset tracking with the IoT and how you can benefit, it’s essential to define it. Asset Tracking is the tracking of any physical assets through a large variety of methods. It can be used to locate a package in a warehouse or follow a container across the sea.
The more challenging use cases for asset tracking are those where no one can recharge/change the battery, which will be globally distributed. These use cases will have to find a way to be very efficient in energy consumption while being able to connect globally.
Power Consumption and capabilities
An asset tracking device will typically have few sensors and location capabilities.
The standard sensors are the following:
- Temperature – to follow the conditions of the asset
- Accelemoter – to understand if the asset is in flight (turn of cellular)/fall or damaged
- GPS – optional for location if a cell tower is not acceptable
The decision to use GPS or a Cell Tower will depend on the actual use case and have price and energy consumption implications.
A device with GPS will cost more and use more battery – but will be much more accurate.
For an IoT device to consume less energy and last longer with the battery, LTE introduces LPWAN (low power wide area network) capabilities such as LTE M and NB IoT. This allows a global cellular network to provide solid connectivity with global coverage. This is the only way for today’s tracker to get connectivity without issues or conditions, unlike LORA, which requires the customers to deploy the Radio network themselves.
Monogoto network supports such capabilities, allowing customers to get global coverage with low-power modems.
Cellular networks sound like the best solution, but we often experience problems with the operators.
In today’s cloud economics, we got used to paying per consumption. It is ok to pay AWS a 20 cent per hour for cloud compute and use it only when I need it, and with this logic, if we have an asset tracking that only needs to transmit data when it’s on movement or maybe once a day.
If this device will use 3KB per day and around 1MB per year, there is no justification to pay even $1 per month for the service.
This device will pay around $1 per year in cloud consumption-based economics, allowing the customer to justify the asset tracking on small shipments/packages.
IoT will be massive, and IoT needs cellular to provide a large and solid network for so many use cases; more and more use cases will come when the real economy justifies it.
Monogoto’s IoT Asset Tracking connectivity
At Monogoto, we are offering a connectivity platform that can ease the development of the solution, provide global connectivity on low power technologies, with advanced APIs for security and scalability.
and, of course, consumption-based pricing; allowing this transformation to be a reality, we are welcoming new asset tracking use cases that traditionally could not be justified on a cellular network.
Reach out to us and book your free demo today.