live GPS tracker

Do All GPS Trackers Need A Sim Card?

GPS Technology

Publish Date: February 2, 2020

Last Update: May 26, 2024

Do All GPS Trackers Need A Sim Card – What You Need To Know! 

Are you interested in GPS tracking and wondering whether all GPS trackers need a SIM card? In fact, it is a very common question so don’t feel weird for asking. However if you’re thinking about purchasing a real-time GPS tracker, it’s important to know the answer to this question. In this article, we will breakdown why real-time GPS trackers need SIM cards to transmit live location updates. We will also address some frequently asked questions on the topic, so you can make an informed decision when selecting a GPS locator. Let’s dive in! 

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How Real Time GPS Trackers Use SIM Cards – 5 Easy Steps 

Real time GPS trackers are engineered with a component called a receiver that allows them to pick up satellite signals and triangulate position. Next, SIM cards allow tracker devices to connect to cellular networks and provide live updates on their location. When a GPS tracker sends location data, it is transmitted to the nearest cell phone tower and then relayed to the cellular network, which sends the data to a remote server. From there, you can access the data via a web portal or mobile app. The craziest part? This whole process is nearly instant! Let’s break this all down in 5 simple steps:

  1. A GPS tracker sends location data to the nearest cell phone tower
  2. The tower relays the information to the cellular network
  3. The cellular network sends the data to a remote server
  4. The data is accessed via a web portal or mobile app
  5. Live updates are provided using cellular technology and a SIM card

By understanding how GPS trackers use SIM cards and cellular technology to provide live updates on location data, you can choose the right GPS tracker for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a pet tracker, bike tracker, car GPS, or personal GPS, it’s important to consider factors such as network coverage, subscription plans, and whether the GPS tracker requires a SIM card.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use My Cell Phone SIM Card For My GPS Tracker To Avoid Monthly Fees?

No. First of all, not all SIM cards are the same in the way that they function. Secondly, the SIM card equipped inside a tracking device is designed to transmit data over a specific cellular network utilizing enhanced features specific to the transmission of GPS data. Therefore, there is no way to avoid the GPS data plans required to make a real time GPS tracking device operate. 

Is There A GPS Tracker Without SIM Card?

Yes! The type of GPS tracker that works without a SIM card is known as a GPS data logger. What makes this type of tracking device popular among businesses and consumers is that they are no monthly fee GPS tracking devices. However, since the systems do not have a SIM card they do not have the ability to transmit real-time GPS data. That means they are not helpful in auto-theft security or asset recovery. This is because the only way to view the GPS information from a data logger is to remove the GPS tracker from the automobile and download the data to a computer manually. This is done through the use of a USB connection, not remotely via cell tower, WiFi or Bluetooth connection. 

Can A Live GPS Tracker Work Without A Mobile SIM Card?

While some GPS trackers might use alternative technologies like radio or satellite modems, real-time GPS trackers require a SIM card to transmit data in real-time. However, some GPS loggers, which don’t provide live updates but instead store location data, do not require a SIM card. GPS trackers without a SIM card are typically limited to Bluetooth range or local Wi-Fi networks, and their range is quite limited.

Can I Use Any SIM Card With My GPS Device?

No, you cannot use just any SIM card with a GPS tracker. GPS trackers require specific types of SIM cards, such as those that support data plans for cellular networks. Some GPS trackers may also require a SIM card from a specific cellular provider to work properly. It’s important to check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure you have the correct SIM card for your GPS tracker.

How Do SIM Cards Work With GPS Trackers?

SIM cards work with GPS trackers by allowing the tracker to connect to a cellular network and transmit location data. The SIM card contains a unique identifier that connects the tracker to the cellular network, allowing it to send and receive data. The GPS tracker requires a SIM card to provide real-time tracking updates and location data.

How Do GPS tracking Devices Use Cell Phone Towers?

GPS locator devices use cell phone towers to connect to a cellular network and transmit location data. When the personal GPS tracker sends location data, it is transmitted to the nearest cell phone tower. The tower then relays the information to the cellular network, which sends the data to the server that you use to track the GPS tracker’s location. This allows you to see the location of the GPS tracker in real-time.

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