One older networks that is active in the Netherlands will soon stop. It’s about the 3G network. There are still a number of receivers that use this network.
The question is, of course, whether after the last provider waves goodbye to the 3G network, it will still be possible to measure receivers that use a 3G modem?
The answer is simply no.
Of course, there are possibilities to still measure, but they are not always very practical. But we’ll come back to that later.
How important is having an internet connection when measuring?
When you want to map positions, you depend on a few things. First of all, it is about satellites, which send all data to your receiver and tell it where the receiver is approximately. The reason I say approximately is because when using 1 satellite constellation you are not going to be more accurate than 1 meter. When GNSS (Global navigation satellite system) can be used, you use all possible constellations that your receiver can pick up. This will bring you already in the decimeter area, which is quite an improvement.
When you have internet, the picture only gets better! Because in order to achieve centimeter accuracy you need something called an RTK network. But here it comes. If you want to use such a network, you need to be connected to the internet.
So if you’re going to use a receiver with a 3G modem in it after the last provider stopped using the network, then you’ve got a problem if you want to measure accurately in centimeters.
**Think Forward **
A good alternative is to buy a receiver that has a 4G modem (or at least one that does not rely on a 3G modem).
Fortunately, these can now be found for very acceptable prices. It is also possible to work with a receiver that does not have an internet modem but can deliver centimeter-accurate work via a 4G-ready tablet/smartphone. This is possible simply because it is brought into contact with your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth and then lives along on its internet.
And here it comes! This enables you to make use of an RTK network.
So if you are planning to buy a GNSS receiver and you want to be able to measure centimeters accurately. First check that the receiver is not dependent on a 3G modem and that the tablet or smartphone you are using is 4G ready!