Satellite Vehicle Tracking - Beyond The Mobile Tower

December 06, 2021 3 min read


Remote Worker Safety: GPS Tracking  G120 LTE + Iridium

Satellite Add-On

Supplements existing cellular or terrestrial-based solutions and enables dual-mode capabilities.


The G120 is a hybrid 4G LTE-M GPS tracking device that can also be fitted with an Iridium Edge® modem for tracking assets even when they move out of LTE mobile coverage.

What is iridium?

The Iridium Satellite Constellation is a system of 66 satellites used for voice and data communications. The constellation covers the entire earth, so voice and data can be transmitted from anywhere worldwide. This makes an Iridium device capable of remote worker safety, tracking vehicles with GPS in out-of-coverage areas, and enabling duress or rollover alerts in these locations.

Managing fleets in the Australian Outback

The Australian Outback includes both arid and desert regions. Workers will frequently be operating vehicles in remote locations that rarely see rainfall, where temperatures often reach 40°C–50°C through the summer. This creates dry, dusty conditions. The sparsely distributed population also results in more unsealed roads. These combine to put more stress on vehicle maintenance and increase the risk for personnel. Workers in these regions will either be operating alone or in small teams. They often work far from cellular coverage. Should a safety incident occur or, in the case of a vehicle breakdown, help might be some hours away,

The G120 GPS tracker provides global GPS tracking coverage anywhere, even when you need to track vehicles and assets in remote locations. 

Perfect for mining or construction firms in remote and potentially dangerous parts of the world, it can ensure the safety and security of equipment and personnel. Shipping companies or customers can track and monitor high-value cargos from portal to portal.


Iridium Edge device and its airtime are costly

How the G120 Works

The G120 is fitted with a GPS/GNSS module, a cellular modem, and several other high-quality components, including a Bluetooth® module, digital and analogue inputs, and RS232 and J1939 interfaces.

When the tracking device is within Telstra mobile coverage, it records and uploads its position to the server. Typically, when driving, it will stay connected to the network and upload immediately for 'live tracking'. The cellular modem is in charge of handling this data transfer.

If the device is travelling outside the 4G mobile network, it can be connected with an Iridium Edge® module. This edge device houses an Iridium modem and antenna, which allow the device to connect to the Iridium network and transmit data back to our servers.

The G120 records a large amount of data in its internal memory, such as heading changes, speed changes, input changes, and other valuable GPS tracking information.

However, it will send a subset of this data every 30 minutes when in a trip (by default) over Iridium SBD. This is completely configurable and ensures that Iridium data costs are kept under control. An Iridium data bill for minute-by-minute data would be an unhappy surprise!

The Iridium SBD (short burst data) service only allows a message size of 20 bytes, so a few other key bits of information, such as inputs (for duress) and rollover/crash information, can be sent immediately if they occur.
When the device returns to coverage, it will update its full history of stored data, so you can replay trips and get other detailed tracking information.

The basic functionality of Short Burst Data can be viewed below:

Applications for the G120 Hybrid GPS Tracker:

  • Asset tracking
  • Fleet management
  • Tracking of mobile assets such as trucks and heavy equipment
  • Global GPS tracking
  • OHS regulations
  • Tracking vehicles and assets in remote areas that are frequently in and out of cellular coverage
  • Ensure remote workers are safe, so far from communication
  • Remote worker safety
  • Enabling Duress and SOS Alarms
  • Regulatory compliance

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