February 15, 2021 12:00 PM, EST

Stay Visible with Satellite Connectivity

Whether you’re looking to protect valuable cargo, ensure the integrity of temperature-controlled loads, comply with regulations or improve utilization, complete visibility of the location and status of transport assets and cargo is key to running a profitable and efficient operation. Traditional asset tracking solutions rely on the cellular network to transmit critical data, but what happens when the flow of data is disrupted by interruptions in the cellular network?

Making a case for Satellite

A new White Paper entitled Fleet Visibility: Why Dual-Mode Satellite-Cellular Connectivity is Crucial, explores the 5 key challenges that can lead to coverage problems for transportation fleets, why fleets need to be "always-on", and the benefits fleet managers are gaining from low-cost satellite backup.

Stay Visible with Satellite Connectivity

Blind spots in the cellular network are common in sparsely populated locations and rural areas. But even in urban areas where cellular coverage should be widely available, heavy traffic can cause network congestion, preventing critical vehicle and trailer data from reaching fleet managers on time. Cellular networks are also susceptible to bad weather and natural disasters. When storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes hit, they regularly knock networks out of commission, and these outages can last for days or weeks depending on severity.

ORBCOMM is the only provider of asset tracking solutions that owns a satellite constellation dedicated to industrial IoT communications and the first to market dual-mode (cellular-satellite) telematics solutions to ensure the continuous flow of data from every asset in your fleet no matter the location or the weather.

Key Benefits

Never miss critical information

ORBCOMM’s solution automatically switches between cellular and satellite IoT networks based on availability to ensure the consistent flow of data and alerts from every driver, trailer, and reefer in your fleet. If the device is unable to connect to the cellular network, it will automatically switch over to satellite, so you can continue to receive and respond to critical data.  

Protect the cold chain

When it comes to tracking temperature-sensitive loads, protecting the integrity of cargo and ensuring compliance with food safety regulations, every minute counts. Satellite can be the difference between missing a temperature alert and dealing with a spoiled load as a result or receiving a timely notification and taking quick corrective action. With satellite, fleet managers get notified when the temperature deviates outside normal ranges, when a reefer’s set temperature is inadequate for the type of load it’s hauling, when a unit shuts off during an active trip and when equipment malfunctions—even if the cellular network is down or out of reach. Two-way control over satellite also enables operators to remotely engage the refrigeration unit to adjust the temperature, power it back on, start a pre-cool and more, all from a centralized location and without engaging a driver.

Enhance last-mile delivery

Cellular networks can become congested and unreliable in more densely populated areas in the last mile. With satellite backup, fleets can  stay connected, even in blind spots in the cellular network, and properly communicate ETAs, yard arrivals, slot times, signature captures, departure times, possible delays, and other critical shipment status data without any interruptions, so cargo owners can efficiently allocate crews and coordinate end logistics.

Protect from cargo theft

Traditional telematics solutions can be vulnerable to illegal cell network jammers, which force the telematics device offline, preventing it from sending alerts. Cell network jammers can also prevent drivers from using their cell phones to report a situation. Similarly, theft often occurs in remote areas with unreliable cellular coverage. A dual-mode solution ensures continuous location and status reports to help carriers detect theft, enable traceability, and facilitate recovery.

Future-proof your telematics system

Legacy 2G and 3G cellular networks are being shut down around the world to make room for 4G LTE and 5G. The short lifespan of cellular networks can pose a challenge for fleets when it comes to protecting their investment and choosing the right IoT solution. ORBCOMM’s satellite devices are set to deliver connectivity through at least 2035, significantly extending the longevity of our telematics solutions and protecting customers from issues caused by cellular network shutdowns.

Blind spots in the cellular network can be costly. High insurance premiums due to spoiled loads, loss of business or reputation, fines from missed compliance, and poor customer service—to name a few—all add up quickly and significantly affect profitability. Today, more stringent competition, broader service availability, and significant improvements in the technology have made satellite more accessible and affordable than ever. A nominal investment can make a big difference when it comes to peace of mind and maximizing ROI.



ORBCOMM (Nasdaq: ORBC) is a leading provider of innovative fleet management solutions for two-way tracking and control of trucks, dry van and refrigerated trailers, containers, chassis, railcars and more. With a dominant market position in transport telematics, ORBCOMM is trusted by the world’s top companies for its broad range of transportation solutions. For more information, please visit


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