Environmental Monitoring and Cellular Data

Jun 15, 2020

Current statistics put the number of cell towers in Canada, at approximately 40,000 towers, and the number continues to grow. With this expanded coverage comes the opportunity to provide two-way communications to previously remote locations which needed expensive satellite transmitters such as GOES. While GOES has no monthly fee, the transceiver itself is very expensive ranging from $2800 to $4000 CDN depending if it’s a stand-alone or integrated unit.

Two of the major arguments against cellular coverage for these types of remote monitoring stations has always been power and cost.

The challenge with “power” has continued to get better as new cellular modems, continue to find ways to reduce power use, during downtime to microamps. The cost argument as well has gone away with some of the new cellular products available to consulting companies. For instance, previously a static IP and 20 Meg Data Plan, would cost upwards of $30.00+/month, plus activation fee, plus SIM card fee, plus overage charges. And, you never really knew who had the best “coverage” for the location you were installing at. This meant carrying multiple cards into the field and having to set multiple APN’s on the modem.

New “permanent roaming cards” have the ability off one card, with one APN, to work on any of the major networks at a fraction of the cost. For instance at CityKinect, a 20 meg card in Canada, with a static IP, only costs at volume 1, $12.40/month. Flat data fees, no overage costs.

If you have 20 stations, that would save you over $4000/year. Drop us a line and let us help setup a bespoke solution for your environmental monitoring needs.

Sheldon Foisy

Sheldon is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in multiple industries including healthcare and pharma, IT, financial services, and environmental monitoring. Having helped manage and run some of the largest environmental networks in Canada, Sheldon's experience with sensors and telemetry gives him a unique and experienced perspective when it comes to the Internet of Things and the torrent of new sensors and technologies hitting the market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *