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By gathering a range of data from the mobile and the aerial, it could be possible to figure out the location of a mobile phone.
The mobile and aerial mast are both on the same clock and so you have the time it takes for the message to get from the mobile to the antenna (the delay between recieving
and sending data to and from each can be measured to give distance).
If it was possible (is it possible????) for the aerial to find the exact angle the signal is received from (to the closest degree) then these statistics can be put together in a kind of triangulation exercise to give us the location of the mobile in relation to the aerial. As long as you have available, the exact aerial location, then you can nearly pinpoint yourself to a place on the planet.
So, why would anyone want this, well if a computer program could be set up on the mobile network, it could calculate and send the user back the co-ords of their location.
These co-ords could be used by the user to find where they are on a map. So if your lost in your car, you just text the word "location name" to a special network provided number and it texts back where you are. Or text "location co-ords" and it sends back the co-ordinates.
This could be the basis for a system that provides location based services. The big thing the third generation mobile phones are boasting about.
Opinions, Criticisms, and compliments are all welcome!!!!
Please could you reference any sources?..so I can also go have a look at them...Thanks
Mobile phone location
Pick a vendor. [8th of 7, Oct 04 2004]
[Klaatu, Oct 04 2004]
||Isn't the US government requiring all mobile systems to identify the handset's location by a certain date? (This as an aid to emergency services.)
||This is definitely baked, and in the process of trial rollout on at least one of the UK's GSM (PCN) networks. And it works, very well. Unmodified handsets can get location info via SMS. GPRS handsets can get rolling update mapping. Link.
||There are a million techniques for measuring your position from cell towers. Your particular idea doesn't work very well (multipath, the cost of keeping clocks synchronized that closely, etc.) but others do work OK (not with GPS resolution typically). This is baked to the point of inspiring buzzwords... I'm staggered that you're not aware of this.
||There's also a whole Halfbakery "product: cell phone: location" category that this should be in.
||Baked for a lonnnng time <link>. They were discussing e-911 back in the late 90's and began to deploy in 1999 with some carriers. The "911 Tax" that shows up on your wireless phone bill pays for e-911. This also includes the ability of *any* cell phone (activated, or not) to be able to use the 911 service.
||Widely known to exist in wireless circles.