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IOT-Based Geolocation Tracking without GPS

  • 3 min read

The need for location tracking is vast. Cab companies, transport services, and delivery companies use tracking to ensure their fleet is used properly and to relocate if stolen. Some companies use it to track their employees and increase productivity. Tracker can also be helpful for families to track their children. It is common to use GPS tracking for law enforcement and investigation. GPS tracking is done by monitoring movement and collecting data. Typically, tracking devices work with GPS and mobile data connections.
The current method of tracking has some issues due to the accuracy of the GPS receiver. A GPS receiver needs a clear view of the sky to receive information from GPS satellites and a weak signal will not provide the desired results. Another problem is the size and power consumption. In addition to these issues, GPS-based trackers produce data traffic, which adds cost and consumes further power.

A different approach

The idea now is to use a passive approach and use data that already exists in mobile operators. Today every operator uses monitoring to optimize their network performance. The current approach for monitoring is connecting to all core network interfaces, and network devices (eNodeB and Basestations).

Cubro Probe

Using Cubro probes and geolocation technology, every user can be tracked by location, in near real-time. This is done by triangulating the signal of a tracking device. The tracking device is the simplest, smallest, and cheapest data modem available on the market. Such a device could be the size of 15 x 15 mm and without any software on the device because the mobile network itself does live tracking of every mobile device by default. The approach extracts the already existing data with the Cubro mobile probe and provides this data to the person who wants to track the connected device. 


There are several advantages to this application. The first advantage is the cost and size of the tracking device. This is especially important for tracking goods and pets. The other significant advantage of this data is for a mobile operator because this approach means reuse of existing investments. The third significant advantage is that the mobile network is also available in a house where GPS could not deliver data.
One of the major differences between this approach compared to the GPS based tracking is that the tracking is seamless because of every handover/movement of the tracker produces a data point in the log. GPS-based solutions provide data points only when requested, typically every 2 – 5 minutes. Lastly, it involves less power consumption because no data is transferred; only the signalling of the 2G/UMTS/LTE is used for tracking.
Learn more about Cubro Probes