Caveats To Be Aware Of When Investing In A GPS Based Vehicle Management System

26 Feb 2008

These are some fundamental things that I learned when getting involved in the world of GPS Tracking and GPS vehicle management that everyone should be asking before choosing a GPS service provider.

Are the GPS devices being sold FCC Certified?

There are a handful of overseas manufacturers selling “tracking devices” that have not been FCC tested. The Federal Code Of Regulation (CFR) FCC Part 15 is a common testing standard for most electronic equipment. FCC Part 15 covers the regulations under which an intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiator that can be operated without an individual license. Since most GPS tracking devices transmit data wirelessly, they must be FCC Certified. The cost to certify a device can range in the neighborhood of $15,000 – $25,000 or more in some cases. All FCC Certified Devices will have a part # that you can search for on the FCC’s website.

What The Heck Is PTCRB Certifitication And Why You Should Care?

PTCRB certfication is done, to ensure devices (such as cell phone and GPS trackers), maintain compliance with GSM/GPRS/UMTs network standards within the operators’ networks. So for example, your GPS service provider uses AT&T as their network provider to transmit data from your tracking devices. You have 50 vehicles, outfitted with this uncertified PTCRB device, that you paid $500 a piece for. The devices you purchased are not PTCRB certified. AT&T discovers the rouge devices on their network and immediately shuts them off (which they can and will do). Always ask any potential provider, are your devices PTCRB certified. You may or may not get your money back from your GPS service provider, but is that a chance you want to take?

Is Your Provider’s Mapping Software Licensed?

Always ask your service provider, whether or not their mapping software is licensed. Again, we have seen GPS tracking providers whose software and systems make use of public mapping software that is not licensed for commercial use, but used in a commercial setting. What does this mean to you? At any time, your GPS providers system is in jeopardy of being shut down and turned off.

So their you have it, three important things that you should be aware of before choosing a GPS provider. Until next time, Happy Tracking To You…

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