Why you don’t need cellular with the SpotOn System


Understanding Our GPS Dog Fence 

We’ve packed a lot of technology into the SpotOn collar, so here’s how it all works together. The collar uses GPS alone to create, activate and maintain fences - and relies on Bluetooth and cellular to communicate with your smartphone. 

While Bluetooth & cellular are communication technologies that allow your collar and smartphone to talk to each other, GPS is strictly a location technology.

How it all works


GPS controls containment—allowing you to create, activate, maintain, and deactivate GPS dog fences.  SpotOn is a GPS-based system, so there’s no need for buried wires, base stations, or professional installation. Once your SpotOn collar has its GPS fix, you can create a custom map and select "Activate".  You do not need to have cell service to use SpotOn’s GPS fence to contain your pup. Learn more.


Cellular allows for communication between your SpotOn collar and the SpotOn app on your smartphone. Cellular is needed for long range communications for when your dog is running around.

Though you do not need cellular to create & maintain fences - you do need cellular service for the collar to:

  • See maps on your app
  • See your pup’s name on the collar’s screen
  • Receive escape & battery notifications
  • Track your dog’s location with the app

Think of your SpotOn collar as a phone for your dog and the fee as his cell phone plan. If your dog escapes, you need a cell connection so your collar can tell your phone where he is. As long as your smartphone has cell service and the collar has cell service, you can track your dog. Cell service is optional, and we offer the first year free. After that, the service is just $6.95 a month. You need to activate your cell service.


Bluetooth is a short range communication tool for when your collar is right next to your phone, providing a short range link from your phone to the collar. Use Bluetooth to adjust static correction and cue tones when training your pup.

Connecting to Bluetooth is a little different than connecting to a mobile speaker, smartwatch, or your car. You will know you have succeeded when the BT symbol on the collar’s screen turns blue. Bluetooth will automatically disconnect after a few minutes of inactivity, so you will need to reconnect each time you need the Bluetooth connection active.

Watch this video or follow these steps to connect to Bluetooth. Be sure to deactivate any active maps before connecting to Bluetooth. You can also use Bluetooth to share maps collar-to-collar. Learn more.

Keep in mind that the collar can only use one communication protocol at a time. So if you are connected via Bluetooth while  training, the maps cannot be activated. And if you are on Bluetooth, the collar cannot use cellular for tracking (and vice versa).

Related Reading

Will SpotOn work under dense tree coverage?

Q&A with Sam, Customer Support Expert. Find out if the SpotOn system will work under the trees!

Would Cloudy Weather or Storms Affect SpotOn's GPS Signal?

Q&A with Sung, VP of EngineFind out if the SpotOn system will work in rain or shine!

Using Bluetooth with SpotOn

When using your SpotOn Virtual Fence, you can utilize Bluetooth functionality in two ways.

Read More

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published