Spotter 3 Documentation
Cellular Support Documentation
Overview
The third generation of our Spotter platform includes an array of new features, including cellular connectivity. An onboard broadband cellular modem with global coverage allows for 1000x more data to be transmitted at a fraction of the cost. This increases sampling frequency, unlocks over-the-air firmware updates, and enables higher bandwidth data modes. Spotter’s new cellular capability will add to — not replace — its existing Iridium satellite connection.
View full Spotter 3 documentation
User Interface
Explanation of user LEDs
SYSTEM
GO
SIGNAL
Status
All Solid Green.
Cellular data is available;
ready to deploy.
Solid red SIGNAL LED.
Cellular data is not available; if deployed, unit will still be able to use Iridium.
Connection
Your cellular-equipped Spotter will communicate over a present and consistent cellular network. Generally speaking, if you are able to send and receive SMS messages with a cellular phone from a location, your Spotter will also be able to communicate over cellular from that location. The best way to confirm that your Spotter has cellular connection is to ensure that the Signal LED is green at the point of deployment. Regional factors such as tower elevation, network consistency, and local weather will affect connection strength.
Coverage
SIM Card
Your cellular-equipped Spotter is powered by a flexible platform created by Blues Wireless. Blues Wireless delivers connectivity over a wide range of networks and bandwidths using a pre-provisioned global embedded SIM card.

At this time, third party and user-installed SIM cards are not compatible with Spotter. If this is a requirement for your use case, please contact us at sales@sofarocean.com.

Spotter’s cellular capability will, generally, be compatible with one or more major carriers in the following countries/regions:
North America
🇺🇸 USA
🇨🇦 Canada
🇲🇽 Mexico
Rest of the World
🇪🇺 European Union
🇦🇺 Australia
🇳🇿 New Zealand
🇯🇵 Japan
🇿🇦 South Africa
🇨🇱 Chile
Cellular coverage is available in hundreds of other countries/regions, but may be restricted to certain carriers or networks, or may be subject to regulations or requirements around sending and receiving data. If you don’t see your country listed above or have a question about whether or not a specific cellular carrier is compatible with your Spotter, please fill out the form below:
Cellular Data Plan Pricing
Your cellular-equipped Spotter comes with 12 months of free cellular data, with up to five minute updates and no bandwidth limitations for current applications. After the first 12 months, cellular data access costs $20 per month.
High Data Rate (HDR)
Your cellular-equipped Spotter is not subject to the data cost constraints typical of Iridium-only Spotters. Using High Data Rate (HDR), you can send much more rich data and do so frequently, with processing rates configurable to intervals as short as 15 minutes.

In the Iridium data modes, wave displacement (X-Y-Z movement) is computed onboard and processed into bulk statistics, partitioned statistics, or full spectrum data, which are sent over Iridium to your Spotter dashboard and API. Your cellular-equipped Spotter is able to send the wave displacement time series directly to the cloud, allowing far greater flexibility in analysis.

More details about cellular data transmission, storage, and display will be added to this page as they become available. In the interim, we’d love to hear about your operation’s cellular data needs at sales@sofarocean.com.
Tip: Using the Spotter dashboard, you can adjust your Spotter's cellular data processing rate to intervals of 15, 20, 30, and 60 minutes. Your device's cellular connection is constantly monitored under Device Status.
Over-the-air Updates
Your Spotter's cellular connection enables over-the-air firmware updates, allowing you to remotely update your deployed device with new features as they become available. To initiate an over-the-air firmware update, please email us at support@sofarocean.com.
Iridium Fallback Behavior

If cellular transmission fails for three consecutive hours (default) on your Spotter, it will revert to using Iridium. In this Satellite Fallback mode:

  • There will be an indication in the dashboard that a unit can’t connect to cellular.
  • Spotter will periodically attempt to reconnect to a cellular connection.

Satellite Fallback mode will continue to evolve with the release of future versions of Spotter’s firmware.

SD card insertion notes
When inserting or checking the SD card, please make sure the card is properly seated. The system LED will turn red if the card is not seated correctly. For more information about SD card use, please utilize the existing resources on our Spotter Product Documentation & Onboarding page.