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Locating a Phone

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Anonymous
June 7, 2004 2:29:26 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

I am developing an information service which will use SMS as the user
interface. It would be very helpful if I were able to locate the phone
sending SMS requests to the service. I don't need GPS-like accuracy. Rather,
I would be perfectly happy simply being able to determine the location of
the cell cite which relayed the message.

Is this possible? Any suggestion would be help as I'm a complete GSM newbie.

More about : locating phone

Anonymous
June 7, 2004 9:56:35 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

"Greg Young" <progsoln@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:IZWdnSBxMOhoOFndRVn-hQ@comcast.com...
> I am developing an information service which will use SMS as the user
> interface. It would be very helpful if I were able to locate the phone
> sending SMS requests to the service. I don't need GPS-like accuracy.
Rather,
> I would be perfectly happy simply being able to determine the location of
> the cell cite which relayed the message.
>
> Is this possible? Any suggestion would be help as I'm a complete GSM
newbie.

Good luck. You should probably look into selling your service to the
carriers. They are the only ones who will be able to locate their customers.

--
Donald Newcomb
DRNewcomb (at) attglobal (dot) net
Anonymous
June 8, 2004 2:54:08 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

"Greg Young" wrote:

> I am developing an information service which will use SMS as
> the user interface. It would be very helpful if I were able to
> locate the phone sending SMS requests to the service. I don't
> need GPS-like accuracy. Rather, I would be perfectly happy
> simply being able to determine the location of the cell cite
> which relayed the message.
>
> Is this possible? Any suggestion would be help as I'm a
> complete GSM newbie.

If I've understood you correctly, you're trying to determine the
location of other people's phones, not trying to establish your
own position.

This would require programming on the phones being located.
There are at least two ways of achieving this.

The simplest by far to implement would be to have these phones
running AT commands, sent and interpreted by a processor (a PC
or stand-alone microprocessor) connected to the phone by a
serial connection (normally a serial cable, but Bluetooth and
IrDA are other possibilities). That processor could read the
incoming SMS, get certain info from the phone, and send a reply.

The other way would be to program the phone with a SIM
Application Toolkit (STK) application. In practice this would
prove very difficult, as SIM security normally prevents STK
applications being loaded except by a carrier.

Information you *might* be able to retrieve includes the ID of
the current network operator (this changes when roaming), the
Location Area Code, cell ID (numeric), cell geographical name
(if it's being broadcast), signal strength (can be a rough
distance indicator), last Timing Advance (TA) value used
(distance to cell to within 550 metres accuracy), and Network
Measurement Results (NMR).

I know you can get NMR from Siemens phones. This gives the BCCHs
and signal strengths of the 6 strongest neighbouring cells. And
this in turn can sometimes be used to derive surprisingly good
positional information.

Note that the cell ID retrieved would be that of the cell the
phone's currently camped on, and not necessarily that of the
cell used to relay any SMS. So it might not relate to any
retrieved TA value either.

John
Related resources
Anonymous
June 8, 2004 9:09:22 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

On Mon, 7 Jun 2004 10:29:26 -0700, "Greg Young" <progsoln@comcast.net>
wrote:

>I am developing an information service which will use SMS as the user
>interface. It would be very helpful if I were able to locate the phone
>sending SMS requests to the service. I don't need GPS-like accuracy. Rather,
>I would be perfectly happy simply being able to determine the location of
>the cell cite which relayed the message.
>
>Is this possible? Any suggestion would be help as I'm a complete GSM newbie.
>
I think it is possible but for the carriers
Some of them in Europe offer service for parents (or spouses etc)
which is similar to your idea.
All what you need is register phone (has to be on your name) and send
sms to activate service (they dont want you to check on everybody)
Later you need to send sms (specialy formated) to service provider
and they will send you sms with approx. location of the "followed"
phone. It is not very accurate but let you know if your kid is in the
school or not. Accuracy about 100-200 meters
Sorry for my english
Darek
Anonymous
June 8, 2004 12:46:15 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

Thanks for the replies, but I think you've overestimated the problem. The
service I have in mind is simple : A (hopefully anonymous) person could send
a request via SMS to my application running on a server. As an example, this
request might be for the location of Starbucks in the area. Rather than the
user having to supply a location in addition to the request for the
Starbuck's locations, the location would be determined approximately by the
location of the cell site which received the original SMS packet. I have no
dreams of triangulating there position - I simply want to know what cell
site received the original packet and convert this to a physical location.

Is this acheivable in a generic sense (any phone capable of sending SMS)?

For what little I've read, I believe this is doable with a custom
application on the phone. The application would take in a command (similar
to composing a text message for SMS), append to this cell information from
GSM and send the packet to my application. A generic solution would be
clearly better, but even this would be acceptable.
Anonymous
June 8, 2004 6:46:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

On Mon, 07 Jun 2004 10:29:26 -0700, Greg Young wrote:

> I am developing an information service which will use SMS as the user
> interface.

Certain airtime providers already offer such a service. Like Vodafone
UK's "Find Me".

> It would be very helpful if I were able to locate the phone
> sending SMS requests to the service. I don't need GPS-like accuracy.
> Rather, I would be perfectly happy simply being able to determine the
> location of the cell cite which relayed the message.

Which is exactly how the above mentioned Vodafone UK service works. But
usually it's not very accurate, i.e. upto 10 miles out. But then I spend a
lot of time in the countryside. I suppose in places like London, Paris or
New York City it may work a bit better.

> Is this possible? Any suggestion would be help as I'm a complete GSM
> newbie.

I think you may be biting off a bit more than you can chew. However if you
can develop something that's a bit more accurate than Vodafone's effort, I
may be interested.

--
Michael Turner

Email (ROT13)

zvxr.gheare1963@ivetva.arg
Anonymous
June 8, 2004 6:50:49 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

On Tue, 08 Jun 2004 05:09:22 +0000, darek wrote:

> I think it is possible but for the carriers Some of them in Europe offer
> service for parents (or spouses etc) which is similar to your idea.
> All what you need is register phone (has to be on your name) and send sms
> to activate service (they dont want you to check on everybody) Later you
> need to send sms (specialy formated) to service provider and they will
> send you sms with approx. location of the "followed" phone. It is not very
> accurate but let you know if your kid is in the school or not. Accuracy
> about 100-200 meters Sorry for my english
> Darek

100-200 metres ? What service provides that ? That's a hell of a lot more
accuracy than I get out of Vodafone Live ... which only seems to be
accurate to within a few miles.

--
Michael Turner

Email (ROT13)

zvxr.gheare1963@ivetva.arg
Anonymous
June 8, 2004 11:58:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

On Tue, 08 Jun 2004 05:09:22 GMT, darek <gap@optimum.com> wrote:

>On Mon, 7 Jun 2004 10:29:26 -0700, "Greg Young" <progsoln@comcast.net>
>wrote:
>
>>I am developing an information service which will use SMS as the user
>>interface. It would be very helpful if I were able to locate the phone
>>sending SMS requests to the service. I don't need GPS-like accuracy. Rather,
>>I would be perfectly happy simply being able to determine the location of
>>the cell cite which relayed the message.
>>
>>Is this possible? Any suggestion would be help as I'm a complete GSM newbie.
>>
>I think it is possible but for the carriers
That is correct. The basic timing advance and antenna selection at the
BTS give you accuracy that is roughly a circle 1 km in Kilometer.

It is possible to do much better, but that comes from very accurate
signal timing measurements at 2 or more BTS's. That isn't all the
hard to do at the BTS, but if don't have contorl of a BTS, forget it!!
>Some of them in Europe offer service for parents (or spouses etc)
>which is similar to your idea.
>All what you need is register phone (has to be on your name) and send
>sms to activate service (they dont want you to check on everybody)
>Later you need to send sms (specialy formated) to service provider
>and they will send you sms with approx. location of the "followed"
>phone. It is not very accurate but let you know if your kid is in the
>school or not. Accuracy about 100-200 meters
>Sorry for my english
>Darek
>
Anonymous
June 9, 2004 1:55:02 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

Already exists and in use in Estonia

Provided by http://www.reach-u.com/



"Greg Young" <progsoln@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:IaqdncNHxNHTQljdRVn-ug@comcast.com...
> Thanks for the replies, but I think you've overestimated the problem. The
> service I have in mind is simple : A (hopefully anonymous) person could
send
> a request via SMS to my application running on a server. As an example,
this
> request might be for the location of Starbucks in the area. Rather than
the
> user having to supply a location in addition to the request for the
> Starbuck's locations, the location would be determined approximately by
the
> location of the cell site which received the original SMS packet. I have
no
> dreams of triangulating there position - I simply want to know what cell
> site received the original packet and convert this to a physical location.
>
> Is this acheivable in a generic sense (any phone capable of sending SMS)?
>
> For what little I've read, I believe this is doable with a custom
> application on the phone. The application would take in a command (similar
> to composing a text message for SMS), append to this cell information from
> GSM and send the packet to my application. A generic solution would be
> clearly better, but even this would be acceptable.
>
>
Anonymous
June 9, 2004 4:14:17 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

On Tue, 08 Jun 2004 14:50:49 +0100, michael turner
<zvxr.gheare1963@ivetva.arg> wrote:

>within a few miles.
ERA in Poland (tmobile owns them)
in my opinion accuracy depends on how many towers is in
a location (location can be calculated easier)
by the way it works very cool
they send you message with address
like: subscriber is on a corner of the streets..
Anonymous
June 9, 2004 9:47:07 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

"Greg Young" wrote:

> Thanks for the replies, but I think you've overestimated the
> problem. The service I have in mind is simple : A (hopefully
> anonymous) person could send a request via SMS to my
> application running on a server. As an example, this request
> might be for the location of Starbucks in the area. Rather than
> the user having to supply a location in addition to the request
> for the Starbuck's locations, the location would be determined
> approximately by the location of the cell site which received
> the original SMS packet. I have no dreams of triangulating
> there position - I simply want to know what cell site received
> the original packet and convert this to a physical location.
>
> Is this acheivable in a generic sense (any phone capable of
> sending SMS)?
>
> For what little I've read, I believe this is doable with a
> custom application on the phone. The application would take in
> a command (similar to composing a text message for SMS), append
> to this cell information from GSM and send the packet to my
> application. A generic solution would be clearly better, but
> even this would be acceptable.

As you've described it, this sounds like a feasible SIM
Application Toolkit (STK) implementation. You'd need to work
with the carriers though, as they'd need to download your STK
application to participating (compliant) handsets. GSM 11.14 is
the applicable GSM technical specification. You can download a
PDF copy (after registering) from www.etsi.org.

John
Anonymous
June 11, 2004 9:21:17 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

"matt weber" <mattheww50@cox.net> wrote in message
news:u3vcc0596a33prcmtl6jvod4223gavnpmk@4ax.com...
> It is possible to do much better, but that comes from very accurate
> signal timing measurements at 2 or more BTS's. That isn't all the
> hard to do at the BTS, but if don't have contorl of a BTS, forget it!!

Not to forget the MS as well - currentl MS is designed to talk to one BTS at
a time.
!