Utilizing equipment that is capable of "Dual Mode" operation, coverage can be extended to include areas not covered by Cellular systems. Terrestrial cellular systems work well and data services are inexpensive but if a vehicle drives out of the provided coverage area it literally disappears off of the map. Dual Mode systems offer communication over cellular systems while in the coverage area and then automatically transfers all operations to a satellite network such as Globalstar or Iridium to ensure constant contact.
For some, ROI means keeping track of your assets 24/7 no matter where they travel. Virtually every asset-tracking device today is capable of caching location reports and then uploading them once the device is back in cellular coverage. While this historical data has value, and works for many organizations, the ability to manage remote assets has lost much of its value when assets have driven off of the cellular coverage map. Even within cellular network areas, "holes" or areas of poor or non-existent service, impedes the process of reliable communications. Implementing a satellite network backup decreases the likelihood that an asset will ever completely disappear or be unable to report important information.
Dual mode systems do incur two network charges for each vehicle they are placed in. However, by reporting via terrestrial networks when available, data costs are minimized allowing for greater ROI.
* Satellite fall-back does not guarantee connectivity.