Ctrack IVMS and mobile phone coverage: The options

Mine sites typically don’t have 100% mobile phone coverage and the question is asked if IVMS requires permanent mobile phone coverage or not.

DigiCore Australia has sold Ctrack IVMS since 2007 and has substantial experience in selecting the correct communication options:

  • NextG antenna only – this is suitable where vehicles fitted with IVMS devices do not necessarily need to be monitored live all the time. The Ctrack units store positions, speed and driver behavior readings and these are relayed back to base as soon as mobile phone coverage is restored. Where IVMS is predominantly installed for a review of driver behavior this is adequate, as all IVMS data will at some stage be sent back to base from where exception reporting can be provided.
  • High-gain antennas – DigiCore Australia has a customised and unique high-gain antenna solution for mining IVMS in Australia. Experience has shown that these antennas significantly improve live visibility of vehicles and this, in most cases, guarantees live tracking on mine sites.
  • Ctrack Iridium – by fitting an Iridium satellite unit 100% visibility is guaranteed. As soon as the IVMS unit detects that mobile phone coverage has dropped out, the Iridium radio is turned on and data is relayed back-to-base via the satellite network. This unfortunately adds to the purchase price of IVMS, both initially and also ongoing in terms of the monthly IVMS subscription costs. We have found that very few sites make use of this option for this very reason: it makes IVMS unnecessarily expensive.

DigiCore Australia only ever uses Telstra SIM cards for its mining IVMS. This provides maximum coverage even when only the standard NextG antenna is used. Telstra makes it easy for their customer by making coverage maps available that show how good mobile phone coverage in any area would be – DigiCore Australia on the other hand has vast experience with reading and interpreting these coverage maps and helping its customers choose the right communication option for their IVMS implementations!