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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mobile Tracking using the Cell ID

Cell ID location tracking system is a great way to know where someone is within an accuracy of about 1km but it is not a substitute for GPS tracking systems. The Cell ID system is only accurate enough to answer the question "Which part of town are you in" and not " Which street are you in". For the majority of users this is sufficient to prove if someone was lying about their location.  

Mobile Tracking using the Cell ID
Mobile Tracking using the Cell ID

    What is Cell ID?     

A GSM Cell ID (CID) is a generally unique number used to identify each Base transceiver station (BTS) or sector of a BTS within a Location area code (LAC) if not within a GSM network.

    How Cell ID technique works?      

A network provider has several hundred radio base stations ( cells) that make up its network. Each base station is a "cell" which covers a physical area and these cells connect together to make up the entire network. The size of cells depends on the density of base station installed in a given area. Cell sizes can vary from 100m in cities to 3K in rural areas .A mobile phone connects to the network using the cell in which it is located.. As the mobile moves, it leaves one cell and joins another. The new cell then takes responsibility for connecting the phone to the network.
Every time the cell that "owns" the mobile changes, you can get the cell id and cell name ( if available) . You can tell which cell controls the mobile by the name or by resolving the cell id against a database of cell id to locations.

Cell ID location tracking is based on information that is freely available from the airwaves, and the location information is the form of a CELL ID, and the name of the CELL. The name of the cell is usually the name of a part of town, and so this is good enough to know where someone is. 

               GSM Modem

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