Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Fixed subscription model allows dual-mode vessel tracking

Steve Rogerson
December 20, 2016

Rock Seven has launched a fixed monthly GSM tariff for users of its RockFleet dual-mode vessel tracking system. The £10 per month subscription covers all vessel tracking and M2M data transmitted over GSM networks by the system when operating within GSM coverage.
As standard, the system provides vessel GPS location reports at user-defined intervals using the global Iridium satellite SBD short burst data service, but UK-based Rock Seven has seen demand for dual-mode operation using its optional GSM module rise. In dual mode-operation RockFleet automatically switches from satellite to transmit GPS and M2M data over 2G, 3G, 4G and GPRS networks when available. 
The GSM module will roam between 140 worldwide networks, covering virtually every country, at no extra cost. In many countries, it can access multiple mobile networks, adding reliability to the least-cost routing option. If there is no GSM network available, RockBlock will automatically switch to transmit over Iridium satellites.
“While Iridium SBD provides highly reliable global satellite coverage, GSM can enable faster and sometimes lower-cost transmission of GPS and M2M data when closer to land,” said Nick Farrell, director of Rock Seven. “With the new fixed GSM tariff, vessels that regularly go between SBD and GSM coverage can now know their GSM costs in advance, while coastal M2M users, such as workboat or weather buoy owners, can potentially reduce their overall GSM data costs.”
RockFleet is a compact, weatherproof fixed installation system for maritime tracking and data applications. It provides accurate GPS location reporting for vessel and asset tracking in addition to short text messaging via email and SMS, plus free Facebook and Twitter updates for vessel crews. Its versatility is reflected in a wide user base, ranging from professional vessels, yachts and boats through to environmental monitoring systems and smart buoys.
The fixed GSM data package also includes data transmitted using the optional RockFleet M2M communications module, which provides data transmission and control of remote devices on vessels and scientific platforms while still providing global location tracking on a user-defined time schedule. The M2M module uses the same technology as RockBlock, which is designed for pure M2M applications at sea and on land.