GPS trackers in cell phones use GSM localization is more commonly used to determine the location of GSM cell phones, tablets and other mobile devices, but generally used to just locate the user, unless the phone is lost of course, were GSM really comes in handy. These localised-based Systems are divided into categories : Network, Handset and Hybrid.
GSM Network Based: GSM Network techniques generally use the service provider’s network infrastructure to locate and identify the handset (mobile phone). The advantage of these GSM Network techniques (from the service provider’s viewpoint) is that they can be used covertly without the users being compromised and of course without affecting the handsets.
But the accuracy of these network techniques does vary, with mobile phones the recording is the least accurate on data and triangulation is the most accurate reading of data. Accuracy of network techniques is really dependent on how good the base station cells and the satellite link up and mobile signal towers, with urban environments achieving the best possible accuracy, as they tend to have more signal towers and stations for GSM signal coverage.
Handset: With handset technology, the installation of dedicated software on the cell phone is required which then reads its location. The handset technique determines the local of the handset by transmitting its geo location by cell ID, and the signal strength of the home and neighboring satellites and signal towers, which is continuously sent to the network carrier. And of course some handsets are equipped with GSM which in turn, gives a significantly more advanced and accurate location which can then be transmitted from the handset to the network carrier.
The biggest disadvantage of this is that is requires the installation of software on a handset/mobile phone, since you need the users permission to install on a mobile. Another disadvantage with this method is the software needs to be compatible with all the various operating systems and requires permission of the mobile/handset subscriber as well as software/app that should be able to handle the many operating systems of the handsets/mobile phones. But these days with smartphones, ran on: Windows, OS or Android should be able to run any such software and the software designed to be cross platform.
Hybrid: Positioning systems using the Hybrid techniques, are a combination of network and handset technologies for location tracking (see above). One example of this technique is called Assisted GPS, which utilizes both GPS and network data to transmit locations. Hybrid techniques of course are measured to give the best accuracy of the three localized-based systems, but take on the limits, restrictions and challenges of both handset and network GSM techniques.
Some LBS (Location-Based Services) techniques include:
- Cell ID – Accuracy of this technique can be as good as reading as a few 100 mtrs in built up urban areas, but on the flip side as poor as 20 miles in many suburban areas and rural areas and zones. The accuracy will always depend on the actual range of the particular network base station serving the mobile handset at the exact time of positioning and location read action.
- Enhanced Cell ID – This method, you can get a location reading similar to Cell ID, but it is better in rural areas, with location data readings of 550 meters or less.