KPN launches European M2M tracking service

Dutch telecoms incumbent KPN has launched a new M2M service allowing companies to track the location of containers being transported throughout the European region.

Branded “Locate”, the service equips containers will “small, robust and shock-absorbent boxes” that constantly provide updates on their geographical location using a mixture of GPS, GSM and RFID technologies.

By using Cell-ID technology, the operator can also accurately determine locations where there is no GPS signal – such as indoors and on docks.

By combining these various communications technologies, KPN (The Hague, Netherlands) has been able to massively improve the lifespan of the batteries that power the M2M technology, noting that in some cases the battery can last for more than nine years.

Meanwhile, an “online dashboard” provides users with real-time and accurate information about the location of their containers on a regular basis.

The service also allows users to set up a so-called “geo-fence” that notifies customers if containers pass a pre-set geographical border.

KPN says the feature can be an effective means of limiting the impact of losing containers.

Locate is available in a total of 33 European countries at what KPN calls a “fixed low price”, with users costs determined in advance so that customers do not run any risk of incurring extra charges for roaming or extra data usage.