Coverage Map Circles
We occasionally get calls from customers and resellers inquiring about the coverage map circles for specific areas that affect them or a potential customer. Most commonly, we hear, “My area is within the green circle on www.mywayrtk.com, does that mean I am covered?”
Specifically speaking, the green circles presented on the website map are 24 miles in diameter. This is an accurate representation of expected coverage distance for each MyWay RTK base station. The “range” of any RTK network is dependent upon GPS satellites. In order to get RTK, the rover and the base station must share a minimum amount of the same satellites in order to maintain RTK fix. You can actually be at any distance from a base station and still connect to it, but if your rover and the base station do not see enough common satellites, then you will never get RTK fix. The green circle therefore represents the “average” distance that you may be from a base station and hopefully still maintain a minimum number of shared satellites.
There are several other factors that can affect whether or not you will get a “signal” inside the coverage circle.
- Your specific GPS equipment on your rover. Different types of GPS equipment have proven to affect the working distance from the base station. GLONASS enabled equipment is ultimately able to “see” more satellites in the sky, and since every MyWay RTK base station is GLONASS enabled, you have the potential to share more satellites. This means you can be at a greater working distance from the base station and still share the required minimum to maintain RTK fix. We have seen some GLONASS enabled equipment establish RTK fix as far as 30 miles from a base station, but the ability to maintain the minimum number of shared satellites at this distance becomes difficult. Older GPS equipment that does not use GLONASS may not be able to get RTK fix at long distances since they view a reduced number of satellites.
- Cellular coverage in your geographic region is the second and probably most important factor in determining if MyWay RTK will work in your area. If you know of a particular area within your operation where cell coverage is marginal, then chances are you will have trouble staying connected to MyWay RTK in that particular area. This is not a limitation of the base station, MyWay RTK or your specific GPS equipment, it is simply that your cell modem cannot effectively get or stay connected to the internet in order to get the RTK corrections from MyWay RTK.
So, as you may have determined, just because you are within the coverage map on www.mywayrtk.com for your specific area doesn’t guarantee that you will have cell coverage in that area. A good rule of thumb is to think about how your cell phone works across your operation. If there are certain areas where your phone is unlikely to work, there is a good chance it will also be difficult to stay connected to MyWay in this area. Of course, it is always best to investigate potential cell coverage in your fields with any of your local cell providers, as one provider may have better coverage than another. Checking with different providers or experimenting with different cellular phones in particularly weak areas may help you to determine which provider is the best fit for your operation.