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Frequently Asked Questions

Knowledge Center

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

There are a number of GPS tracking systems on the market that employ a range of wireless technology. Understanding your options is critical to making sure you chose the right one for you.

2G
Launched in the early 1990s, 2G (second generation) wireless cellular technology ushered the shift from analog to digital, and supported new data services such as texting and pictures. The vast majority of M2M (machine-to-machine) solutions, from home alarms to GPS tracking systems, currently operate on a 2G platform.

  • Advantages: Low cost and wide network.
  • Disadvantages: Slower data speeds, small bandwidth, and the 2G sunset.

3G
3G represents the third generation in cellular technology. As such, it provides faster data transmission speeds and a wider spectrum — meaning it transmits more data at once, supports simultaneous transmissions such as voice and data, and allows for newer communication technologies such as two-way communications.

  • Advantages: Faster data speeds and bigger bandwidth.
  • Disadvantages: Possibly a higher price point, depending on the provider.

4G
4G and 4G LTE are emerging technologies that offer massive bandwidth needed to support video conferencing, video streaming, and a host of other data-intensive applications. 4G and 4G LTE are currently limited in coverage outside of urban areas and have a significantly higher price point. However, advances in 4G and 4G LTE, fueled by the ongoing investments from wireless carriers, mean that 4G and 4G LTE may become the norm sooner rather than later.

  • Advantages: Fastest data speeds and biggest bandwidth.
  • Disadvantages: Limited coverage outside urban areas, higher price point.

GSM
GSM (Global System for Mobiles) is the most common mobile communication standard used throughout the world. GSM assigns a specific frequency or channel for each user and delivers data via that channel intact.

  • Advantages: Allows for fleet tracking across international borders including Canada and Mexico
  • Disadvantages: 2G GSM devices will the first to become obsolete. 3G GSM devices will not work with 4G and 4G LTE networks.

CDMA
CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) is adopted by five of the seven top carriers in the U.S.
CDMA uses a spread spectrum technique developed by the military to enhance security. So the data captured by the GPS device is encrypted and encoded before it’s transmitted via multiple different channels over the CDMA network, then recombined into its original form before it’s served up to you.

  • Advantages: Compared to GSM, CDMA provides greater coverage in the U.S. and Canada, higher security, more reliability, better quality of services, more precise location accuracy, greater savings over time, lower power requirements, and seamless migration to 3G, 4G and 4G LTE networks.
  • Disadvantages: CDMA also comes with a higher price point; however, the offer better long-term value and overall lower total cost of ownerships because CDMA is a future-proof investment.

CDMA offers a number of competitive advantages. These include:

Faster Network Speeds
CDMA provides better network access and data speeds, allowing dealers to locate and recover their vehicle collateral faster.

Ultra-Reliable Connections
CDMA offers much more reliable connections, keeping dealers continually connected to their collateral in real-time.

Wider Reach and Coverage
CDMA-enabled devices provide extended reach and better coverage — even in rural areas.

Future-Proof Investment
CDMA-enabled devices deliver stronger, more reliable performance today while preparing for the wireless advances of tomorrow.

Longer Battery Life
CDMA-enabled tracking devices produce less of a drain on vehicle batteries.

More Accurate Positioning Data
Studies show that CDMA delivers more accurate positioning data, giving you added confidence that you know exactly where your vehicles are.

CDMA-enabled, GPS tracking devices are a future-proof investment. They deliver faster data speeds, wider coverage, and more reliable connections right away. Which means with CDMA, you’ll be ready to take advantages of emerging wireless technology that come with bigger bandwidth and faster data speeds for even great collateral management power.

GoldStar GPS delivers the competitive advantages of CDMA, plus a number of benefits you won’t find with other CDMA devices.

11th Generation Technology: This is our 11th generation of device innovation. We’ve refined and evolved our solution to bring you the latest technologies for the most reliable performance and affordable price point.

More Durable Device Design
With our CDMA technology, subscription data is embedded directly onto to the device memory. This eliminates the need for an external SIM card that can be removed or damaged, thus improving durability.

Double the Data Plan
We’ve more-than doubled the data plan on our CDMA-enabled devices. This allows us to quickly and easily scale our system to offer even richer features and functionality to meet our customers’ evolving needs and growing businesses.

Spireon is partnering closely with our customers as well as major wireless carriers to minimize the impact of the 2G sunset on your business operations and bottom line. To help you embrace and leverage newer wireless technologies that offer competitive advantages, we have developed the 11th generation of our GoldStar GPS collateral management system with CDMA technology. Our CDMA-enabled GoldStar GPS comes with faster data speeds and network access, wider coverage, and more reliable connections even in rural areas to ensure you’re continually connected to your vehicles. A future-proof investment, GoldStar GPS with CDMA will also be ready to embrace 4G and 4G LTE networks when they become more widely available and affordable.

With GoldStar GPS featuring CDMA, you’ll be ready for the 2G sunset. You’ll also be ready for the future of wireless technologies and networks as well as your growing business needs.

As you may know, the nation’s major carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon) are have announced plans to eventually sunset their 2G networks to re-purpose them for 3G, 4G and 4G LTE networks that deliver bigger bandwidth and faster data speeds. Which means now is the time to start developing a strategy for migrating to devices that run on newer networks. Dealerships who chose not to upgrade their hardware can expect to experience a degradation in service over the next few years.

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What you are experiencing is "OLD" GPS data. This happens when there is an obstruction so that no clear GPS signal can be achieved. The Blue pin on the map indicates this is an old location and simply is showing you where the last time it did. In the Location information box it will display how old the data is. It will say something to the effect of "0 days 2 hours 3 minutes 0 seconds" next to location.

Check the device History to ensure the command went through. If the command does not show up in the device history, then the device will not disable the starter. If the command shows in the history but the vehicle stills starts, ensure that the proper wire was cut. If the relay is removed from the socket, the vehicle should not start. If it does, then recheck wiring.

Recheck the ground wire as well as all other connections. The device will power up if it receives the proper voltage.

This due to a bad ground on the Black wire. The current travels through the Green Wire, into the relay, and down the starter wire instead. This can be fixed by simply choosing a different location for the ground.

ECM’s and other control modules may have security features that may lock down the vehicle if tampered with. By using the wire after all control modules, there is no risk of tripping any security features.

You must use the 12V supply going directly to the starter, if the vehicle is equipped with an ECM or other control module you will need to determine the 12V supply coming from the module to the starter, this wire will be cut in half. The Red wire from the relay goes to the keyed side of the 12V starter wire. The White wire goes to the ignition side of the 12V wire. The Orange wire is connected to the Green wire from the device wire harness.

This is due to an inadequate GPS signal. Try repositioning the device for better coverage. Remember, the GPS signal will go through plastic, vinyl, glass, etc., but not metal.

Go to the proper website, click on register my device and follow the on-line step by step instructions.

We use a basic 3 wire install Red to a constant 12V power supply. The White wire to a 12V keyed accessory wire and the Black to a solid ground, make sure to use a sold ground and not a screw in a panel.

Some GPS system providers are warning companies that their 2G devices will soon be obsolete. This is unwelcome news, especially if you’ve signed a 3 to 5-year service contract on devices that should have a much longer working life.

But the 2G sunset doesn’t necessarily mean you should pull the plug on your 2G devices now, or even in the near future. A number of large carriers, including Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile, have publicly said they will continue to support 2G solutions and their customers well past AT&T’s 2G sunset deadline, and will work closely with providers to ease the transition to next-generation wireless technologies.

So if your GPS vehicle tracking system provider has told you that you need to move away from 2G now, question their motives. You should be able to set the pace of your migration based on your needs, your current technology, and your budget.

Now, if your 2G devices run on GSM, your provider will not be able to support that technology for much longer as carriers are already starting to shut down those services. If this is the case, look for a provider who can transition you to a 2G CDMA technology. See question #4 to learn more about GSM vs. CDMA.

This is an excellent question to ask your provider. For now — and for the near future — 3G is over twice as expensive as 2G, and migrating to a 3G GPS vehicle tracking solution could mean a 15 to 20% increase in costs. Though the data speeds are much higher, you’ll wind up paying more for a smaller network with less coverage. Those prices will likely lower as the technology becomes more widely available — another good reason not to jump on the 3G bandwagon right away.

The costs of 4G are even higher (six times higher than 2G, to be exact), while 4G networks are even smaller. Remember all those people whole purchased outrageously expensive HDTVs when there was no HD service available yet? Hold off on 4G until the service is there to support it.

To lessen the pain and the costs of suddenly migrating to next-generation wireless technology such as 3G, ask your provider if they support 2G CMDA solutions. This will save you from having to purchase all new hardware while ensuring that your devices are supported by major carriers for the foreseeable future.

When developing a migration strategy for your GPS vehicle tracking devices, your provider should help you understand the different technologies, which technology is right for you now and in the future, and the best way to take advantage of those technologies to improve your subprime finance business. Here we’ve provided a brief overview of the different wireless technologies as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

2G

Launched in the early 1990s, 2G (second generation) wireless cellular technology ushered the shift from analog to digital, and included a wealth of new data services such as texting and pictures. The vast majority of M2M (machine-to-machine) solutions, from home alarms to GPS tracking systems, operate on a 2G platform.

While 2G speeds are slower than 3G and 4G speeds, these speeds have been more than adequate to support the data demands of GPS vehicle tracking devices.

Advantages

2G currently offers the widest network, lowest operating costs, and the capacity to handle the data demands of most GPS device users.

Disadvantages

The most obvious downside to 2G is its eventual demise, as carriers shut down 2G service to ramp up their 3G and 4G networks. The 2G sunset, however, will happen slowly, with some major carriers vowing to support 2G for the next decade and even longer.

3G

3G represents the third generation in cellular technology. As such, it provides faster data transmission speeds and a wider spectrum — meaning it transmits more data at once, supports simultaneous transmissions such as voice and data, and allows for newer communication technologies such as two-way communications.

Advantages

3G offers faster speeds and bigger capacity to support bandwidth-hogging data demands such as video streaming and mobile Internet browsing. However, this may be more speed and capacity than you really need. If you’re planning a deployment of GPS devices that should last you the next 5 to 8 years and have growing data demands, 3G may be a good choice for you.

Disadvantages

This increased speed and bandwidth comes with a higher price point — over two time that cost of 2G. What’s more, 3G networks are currently not as widely available as 2G, although 3G CDMA is covered more widely.

4G

4G and 4G LTE are being heralded as the future of wireless communications, with the massive bandwidth needed to support video conferencing, video streaming, and a host of other data-intensive applications. This is the eventual direction most major carriers are pushing their networks towards.

Advantages

4G promises much faster data rates and bigger bandwidth to handle large files and massive amounts of data.

Disadvantages

4G is still a long way to becoming a reality, given the limitations in coverage outside of urban areas and the extremely high price point (more than six times costlier than 2G). If you anticipate your customers’ travel habits will incur a lot of roaming, 4G LTE isn’t the best option for you yet.

GSM

While looking at 2G vs. 3G and 4G, it’s equally important to look at GSM vs. CDMA — the two primary mobile communication standards used by major carriers. GSM (Global System for Mobiles) is the most common mobile communication standard used throughout the world. GSM assigns a specific frequency or channel for each user and delivers data via that channel intact.

Advantages

GSM has prominence around the world, making it a popular choice for businesses that need to track fleets and assets that move across borders — into Mexico, for example.

Disadvantages

The main downside is that 2G GSM devices will the first to become obsolete — sooner rather than later. If you’re planning on deploying GPS tracking devices in your vehicles, GSM is probably not the way to go.

CDMA

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) is adopted by five of the seven top carriers in the U.S. CDMA uses a spread spectrum technique developed by the military to enhance security. So the data captured by the GPS device is encrypted and encoded before it’s transmitted via multiple different channels over the CDMA network, then recombined into its original form before it’s served up to you.

Advantages

Compared to GSM, CDMA provides greater coverage in the U.S. and Canada, higher security, more reliability and better quality of services. Pricing on CDMA service plans can also mean greater savings over time, for a lower total cost of ownership. CDMA additionally has lower power requirements resulting in longer battery life, and better location accuracy than GSM.

What’s more, a 2G CDMA will migrate much more easily and cost-effectively to a 3G CDMA system. So if you are planning to migrate to 3G in the next few years, CDMA may be the best way to prepare for it.

Disadvantages

CDMA doesn’t offer coverage outside the U.S. and Canada. So if you need to track vehicles that may travel across the border into Mexico, you could lose coverage with a CDMA device.

So which wireless technology is right for you? 2G, 3G or 4G? GSM or CDMA? The answer depends largely on your specific business needs — your location(s) as well as that of your customers, your data demands, and your current wireless technology. The point is, your GPS vehicle tracking system provider should be able to help you make the smartest choice for you by understanding your business and goals. You should also look for a provider who builds its own hardware platforms from the ground up, allowing them to accommodate different types of cellular networks and technologies.

Your GPS vehicle tracking system provider should be able to support you before, during and after the 2G sunset with a solid migration strategy and approach. Here’s what to look for in a solutions provider, to ensure they’ll help you make a smooth transition to the next technology as seamlessly and cost-effectively as possible.

Strong relationships with carriers.

Make sure your provider has been working closely with multiple major wireless carriers to make sure your current wireless technology is supported for as long as you need it. Strong relationships with wireless carriers will also be important in developing a plan for migrating to next-generation technology with minimal disruption and cost to your business.

A phased, pragmatic approach.

Beware the provider who wants to quickly jump you to 3G and 4G technology, both of which currently come with much higher costs and less coverage — especially in non-urban areas. Leaving you with more expensive devices and more dropped connections.

The smartest providers will have a 3-5 year phased plan to migrate you to 3G once it becomes more cost-effective and widely covered. Your providers should take an equally phased and pragmatic approach to transitioning you to 4G once 3G starts being phased out.

Chances are, your GPS tracking devices operate on 2G (second generation) wireless technology. And for good reason. 2G marked the first move from analog to digital, and enabled cell phones to do things like send text messages and photos. Of all the wireless technology, 2G offers the lowest cost, the widest coverage, and data transmission speeds fast enough to handle the data demands of GPS vehicle tracking devices.

But in addition to 2G, you’ll need to find out if the devices you’re using are GSM or CDMA-enabled. 2G GSM devices will become obsolete much sooner than 2G CMDA devices. So if your current devices operate on 2G GSM, ask your provider about switching you over to CDMA, which will be supported for much longer. To learn more about the difference between GSM and CDMA, see question #4 below.

Last but not least, you’ll want to find out which carrier’s network your GPS devices run on. Some carriers, like AT&T, are being more aggressive about shutting down 2G while others — like Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile — will continue to support 2G well into the future.