discussion / Biologging  / 6 September 2023

GPS-GSM Collar Recommendations?

Hi folks. I'm hoping to gather a list of everyone's favorite companies that create GPS-GSM collars. Our previous supplier is retiring their GPS-GSM model, which is unfortunate as these can be a fraction of the cost of Iridium collars, if you have the required cell coverage in your study site. Bonus if you can also include an approximate price when you send your recommendation! I'm primarily seeking GPS-GSM collars for spotted hyena, but also interested in the same for coyotes. Thank you so much!

Hello Christine,

My company Nix provides GPS LTE-M trackers with high autonomy (up to 2 years) and weight about 160 gr, perfectly suited if you have cell coverage on your site. We just released our latest models on the market. Prices are around 800 USD depending on your requirements and number of orders.

If you'd like more info and a demo, please send me your contact at [email protected]

Looking forward to hearing about hyenas & coyotes!


Our most recent GPS units were supplied by Milsar. They make GPS/GSM units mainly designed for birds but Pawel was happy to collaboratively redesign his units for our study animals (koala). 

We ended up not going for GSM units although in retrospect GSM would have suited our study area. 

Benefits of the Milsar units were: 

• Effectively solar powered allowing more fixes than we could get with any other units at the time and for an indefinite period, 

• Light weight

• Fast radio download

• A reasonably full range of other data devices integrated in the unit and the data format (light meter, temperature, 3D accelerometry, 3D magnetometer, battery voltage and optional barometer). 

• Fully remotely reprogrammable

• The units were physically reliable and most of the time ran without a hitch. I was able to throw a bit of human error into the mix though.

• Pawel was able to optimise the firmware to suit our purposes.

• The prices seemed perfectly reasonable (check the website for current price).

Our issues with the Milsar units were relatively minor:

• The provided error measures had a poor correlation with the actual position error. Never got to the bottom of this issue, however, the modified firmware did mean that significant position errors were uncommon.

• The supplied software is functional but Windows x86 PC only. Would be nice to have android or iOS software and the software/raw data format are proprietary so you are tied to the Milsar software (which is provided for no extra charge).

• We did have some unexplained data gaps (not my error).

• Sometimes the company were difficult to contact. It felt like it was a bit of a one man show.

Some other members of WildLabs have used Milsar units on canids and particularly burrowing canids and have had issues with abrasion slowly killing the units, but I think this experience will have taught them a bit about building tougher mammal suitable devices.

Hope this helps.

Hi Christine,

I work for a company called Ceres Tag LTD. We have a range of direct to satellite, solar powered devices. Currently on 30 species (23 sub-species) and located in 35 countries. There is no need for towers, infrastructure, wires as they are direct to satellite.

Ceres Trace and Ceres Wild is a fixed device.

Ceres Ranch is a re-usable device that comes with a replaceable tether & pin.


Ceres Tag does not have end use software and API’s with 12 software partners (Earthranger etc). 








If you would like to discuss further, please reach out on the "Book a Call" tab at www.cerestag.com