What is Phone Tracking?
Phone tracking is the term used to obtain the current position of a mobile telephone, whether it is 'moving' or stationery. The way the phone's position is obtained is either by the use of GPS or else through radio signals which occur between the phone and radio towers (or base stations) of the phone's network.
This latter process is known as multilateration, and for it to be successful, the phone must emit the 'roaming' signal at the very least. Multilateration does not, however, need a call to be made or received.
Why Track Phones?
Mobile phone tracking has become a popular application, especially with parents of teenagers and younger children. There are several services available which offer the ability to track a particular phone and this gives parents the knowledge and reassurance that they can find the location of their child (provided the child still has the mobile phone on them and that it is switched on) at any time. This method of phone tracking uses GPS technology.
Most new phones now contain a GPS chip and if the phone is with a provider which has GPS capability, then parents can download the appropriate software from a location based service onto a computer, thus connecting the phone to be tracked. Followus, Britain's largest supplier of tracking devices, is just one of a number of companies who can provide this peace of mind.
How Accurate is Phone Tracking and Who Uses it?
Phone tracking has been found to be more accurate in built up areas, where there are many base stations at frequent intervals, than in rural areas where the base stations may be fewer and further apart. The geography of the surrounding area may also cause inaccuracy. For instance, coasts and valleys may cause discrepancies.
GPS tracking is used more frequently with parents wishing to keep an eye on their children's movements, whereas multilateration is used more often by the military and police services because it touches privacy issues by tracking somebody without necessarily having their consent.