Dog GPS tracker without SIM card? The wrong answer as you know it!


If you've ever wondered if there is a GPS Tracker that doesn't require a SIM card, then you've seen Tractive's detailed answer to this question. As the Tractive page says, "You probably have tons of questions. Luckily, we have tons of answers."

All we can say to that is that if you're reading this Aorkuler article, you probably have the different answer. Because that's not the case, the answers by Tractive are probably wrong, and we're going to analyze them one by one. All the blue text below is from Tractive's article GPS Tracker without SIM Card? Your Questions, Answered.


No monthly fee GPS tracker, do not know Garmin is impossible!

Just like the SEO-savvy web engineers, the opening paragraph starts with a conclusion so that the impatient reader can get to the bottom of it quickly. However, the first important conclusion in the opening paragraph is wrong.

Quick summary: Is there a GPS tracker without a SIM card?

Tractive believes that  GPS trackers without SIM cards do exist. Also known as GPS loggers, they typically only record GPS data. You can later download and view the GPS data by connecting the logger to your computer.

If you haven't heard of Aorkuler, we'll admit we haven't done a good job of marketing it, but you should have heard that Garmin is the leader in GPS applications, and has been offering dog-based GPS trackers since 2011 that don't require a monthly fee and are not recorders. Of course, the size is larger, as well as more expensive, and not all dogs and parents are suitable for Garmin.

In addition, among the brands of pet trackers that do not require a monthly fee, there are Findster, Petfon and others.

As the market leader in pet tracking, it's impossible for Tractive to be unfamiliar with the entire GPS industry, and it's definitely impossible for them to be unaware of great brands like Garmin, but why would Tracive say that there's virtually nothing that works that doesn't require a monthly fee? Could it be that Tracive wants users to reduce other options and focus only on products that require a monthly fee, and that Tractive is the absolute winner in the market segment that requires a monthly fee?

Dog GPS tracker without SIM card


Ignoring tracking cars and pets is a different scenario.

Well, let's read on. Tractive's article says this:

Most GPS trackers need to send location data to another device, for example, so you can view the coordinates on your phone or computer in real time. The most common way of transmitting this information is via the cellular network using a SIM card.

There is nothing wrong with this statement, but it is important to know that civilian GPS devices around the world are used more for transportation, weather, astronomy, and other related areas such as vehicles and aircraft, and pets are only a tiny part.

Some of you may ask, what's the difference? The difference is big.

  • First of all, most transportation facilities such as cars follow proper routes, and proper cellular coverage along a highway is usually enough to largely satisfy the needs of most cars; pets don't, dogs don't take a built-in path because they're going to chase a road or a squirrel, and carriers are much less able to get good coverage around such places.
  • Second, the cellular network is the number one power consuming module, and pets have high size and weight requirements for wearables and can't easily walk around wearing a huge battery, whereas cars, airplanes, etc. have a strong power supply for other devices and can meet the high power requirements of the cellular network.

'Everyone Else Is Doing It' is never a good enough reason. It is not appropriate to directly apply the situation of widely used GPS devices to pet trackers.

To give an inappropriate example, since the most populous country in the world is India (not China), we should also adopt the Indian way of governing the country and life. At the same time, it is right that we also eat with our right hand. (Nothing is meant to say that Indian culture is bad, we are just making an analogy to understand tractive‘s interesting logic.)

 Most GPS trackers

Is cellular network coverage, really, any distance, without limitations?

Next, Tractive thinks:

For this reason, most GPS trackers require a SIM card and a monthly service fee to be paid. The benefit? SIM cards generally make it possible to track something in real-time, over any distance.

Tractive's advertised lack of any distance limitation is based on the premise of carrier cellular network coverage. So, is cellular coverage any distance, full coverage?

The answer is obvious. Whether it's an FCC report or a media test, we have plenty of no-signal areas.

Subtly, Tractive dumps the blame on the carriers; the inability to use the Tractive's tracker is the carriers' problem, because the carriers are too calculating to give effective signal coverage to vast village areas.

Reference reading: 

SIM-based GPS Trackers: A Risky Choice for Rural and Suburban Dog Parents

Verizon and T-Mobile in trouble after FCC accuses them of lying about coverage maps

No Signal: The Worst Cellular Dead Zones in the US






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