What is meant by data communication?

What is data communication?

An increasing number of transport companies equip their vehicles with a mobile data communication solution. In most cases, the back office communicates with the fleet by GPRS (Global Packet Radio Service) or mobile data communication. GPRS data communication uses the GSM network, but allows users to send and receive more data than with regular mobile phones or modems. Carriers who use data communication do not pay per message sent, as with text messaging, but per amount of data sent.

Data communication via GPRS

Most of today’s on-board computers communicate via GPRS. This type of data communication enables carriers to monitor vehicles on the road and exchange messages with drivers at a relatively low fixed cost. Thanks to GPRS data communication, the back office can remotely follow up the conditions in trucks and trailers – door openings, temperature or fuel level. As the home office receives real-time information on the truck’s / trailer’s position and status, it can update the planning all the time. Drivers, for their part, can easily register loading and discharging times, based on the order numbers they receive via the on-board computer.

Digital tachograph read-out via mobile data communication

Many of the latest generation of on-board computers allow drivers to send digital tachograph data to the back office while they are on the road, via mobile data communication. In this way, they no longer have to drive to the home office to read out the driver card.

Advantages of mobile data communication in the transport industry

Thanks to GPRS data communication, drivers can forward data, which are crucial for the planning, customer services or invoicing teams, from their vehicle to the back office in real time. For staff working at the home office, it is easy to send instructions to the drivers. Last but not least, data communication help carriers protect their fleet from theft or loss: real-time positioning allows them to always pinpoint the location of their entire fleet.

GPRS data communication offers multiple benefits: the connection is constantly open, while the cost remains low and is predictable; it delivers significant savings and optimises customer servcies.