An outdoor race organizer who wants to propose a GPS tracking solution on his event regularly asks himself this question: is the mobile network (the most commonly used for this type of service) good enough to follow the participants all along the race?
Sports competitions in the mountains, in dense forest or at the seaside are often confronted with the problem of “white” zones, in which the network does not work, “there is no coverage”. There are alternative GPS tracking solutions, like satellite, that offer excellent tracking quality. However, these solutions are often cumbersome and expensive, and therefore not necessarily affordable for a large number of events.
At Tech4Race, we chose not to use the GSM or satellite network. Our GPS tracker uses the LoRaWAN network, dedicated to connected objects. This network has many advantages, including the ability to create our own LoRa network over a specific geographical area.
For what purpose? Easily and optimally follow a race in real-time at a reduced cost.
Here’s an example. A race organizer contacts us for GPS tracking on a trail by the sea. We evaluate the quality of the existing network along the route of the race with our operator tools (Objenious). Some sections of the route may not be well covered by the LoRa network. This is the reason why implementing a private network could be a really good idea.
Thanks to mobile base stations with antennas, we can deploy a network in “private” mode all along the route or in “mixed” mode to cover only certain areas of the race. After a topographical analysis, we place them on different spots along the course of the race so that the GPS tracker can send its data throughout the duration of the race. On the sections on which the Objenious network is good, it easily communicates with him. On the others, the stations take over. For what results? Continuous GPS live tracking of the race for more safety, attractiveness and fun. Ultra Marin (trail running) has implemented this network for this year event. For the 177km race, two sections poorly covered have been filled with antennas.
Since this network constraint has been lifted, new opportunities for GPS tracking on outdoor sports events appeared, in terms of number of races covered in France and abroad. For example, the horse endurance races in Abu Dabhi equipped with our solution were covered with our private network. Recently, the Prestige Cup (horse endurance) and the SwimRun Côte Vermeille were covered by a mixed network.
We have worked with two key players of the Internet of Things to implement the “private” network: Kerlink, a network solution provider and Wi6Labs, a designer and integrator of solutions for the Internet of Things. Their expertise has been invaluable for us to complete our developments. Regarding the “mixed” network, it is the result of the R&D work of our technical team, which also specializes in network infrastructures.
Let’s discuss the possibilities of implementing Tech4Race live tracking on your event! Contact us 😉