any other phones with GPS tracking devices?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Keebler, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    Do other cell phones have GPS tracking devices in them?

    I'm asking b/c there was an unfortunate murder in our area and the suspects were caught over an hour away after being tracked b/c they had stolen a cell phone which had a GPS tracking device in it.

  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Any cellphone with a built in GPS could potentially be tracked.
  3. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    ah..ok. wasn't sure about the technology.
  4. jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    Dunno about Canada, but GPS (at least AGPS) is mandated in the U.S. While it's use by applications, etc. is optional, every new cell phone sold in the U.S. must have GPS capability that will at minimum provide your location to emergency services when you call them.

    I think that the carrier also tracks your location when you initiate a call, and perhaps more often, which can then be disclosed under warrant.
  5. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    GPS isn't mandated in the US yet. For E911 and general network location services, the main carriers use:

    ATT, T-Mobile

    E911 Method: U-TDOA (Uplink Time Difference of Arrival) tower triangulation.
    Required Accuracy: 300 feet for 2/3 of E911 calls. 1000 feet 95% of calls.
    Actual Accuracy: 300-600 feet.

    Note that some ATT phones have AGPS chips for onboard apps. This hardware is not used for E911 purposes, AFAIK.

    Verizon, Sprint

    E911 Method: A-GPS in all phones since beginning of 2004. GPS info shared with network during E911 calls. Tower trilateration used as backup when GPS unavailable.
    Required Accuracy: 150 feet for 2/3 of E911 calls. 500 feet 95% of calls.
    Actual Accuracy: 15-45 feet when GPS available.

    E911 and AGPS are tightly integrated in Verizon's system and use phone control channels. AGPS usage for non-E911 apps like navigation use normal data paths instead.
  6. fedup flyer macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2008
    The E911 chip can be used to track you even if your phone if OFF. As long as there is some charge in the battery the towers can triangulate your position. This is how it was designed to work.

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