Worldwide, the availability of — and desire to use — RTK networks for GNSS corrections is growing. While some RTK networks are free, others require a paid subscription. More organizations are deciding to set up their own base station (at the office, in the field), and in many situations this could be the best option. For instance:
No RTK: There are no RTK networks or base stations in your working area.
No Cell Signal: There is no cell coverage in your working area and a paid Atlas® satellite correction service is not accurate enough for your application.
RTK Network Cost: There is only one RTK network in your working area and it is expensive, so an annual subscription cost would be onerous, especially if you have multiple rovers (GNSS receivers) in the field. The cost to set up a base station can be far less.
RTK Network Limitations: There is only one RTK network in your working area, and it does not utilize all four GNSS constellations (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou) and/or all three frequencies (L1, L2 and L5). RTK networks with older technology often are limited to GPS/GLONASS and L1/L2. However, a rover receiving corrections from a base station that supports all constellations and frequencies may experience much more reliable RTK performance, such as when the rover moves farther from the base (long baselines) and under light foliage (multipath).
To set up a base station at your office, you can use a GNSS receiver with an Internet connection. To set up a base station in the field, you can use the Internet option (connected environments only) or UHF radio modems for disconnected environments.