Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How to know the location of Mobile Cell Tower

In Order to know the location of certain cell tower, you should identify this Cell Tower; Mobile Cell Towers are normally identified with certain IDs
  • MCC :: Mobile Country Code
  • MNC :: Mobile Network Code
  • LAC :: Location Area Code
  • CID :: cell Identifier
In this post, I will assume you already know the identifiers of the cell tower you want to know its location (latitude, longitude).

So far I can only find Three ways to be able to get the location of that Mobile Cell Tower

    1. Asking your Mobile Network Company about the exact location of that Tower, but they will probably not answer you and even if they did they will not give you the map of their whole towers network, "so that way suck if you want to be independent of the Mobile company"
    2. Using OpenCellID project which is very good project "just my opinion", but the project is still limited to some places in some countries, and it is not world wide like Google
    3. Being able to use Google GeoLocation-Api. After going around with this API, I was able to reverse the use of the API to be able to get the location of cell towers from it, and to use it to get the locations of around 250 towers in Alexandria Egypt
    You can see the list of Alexandria Cell Towers Networks here.

    To make my work more user friendly, i developed a simple Application called iTScan, which you supply it with the cell towers identifier and it will provide you with the location of the tower in different file formats

    Finally I want to say that I believe that OpenCellID gives you better accuracy of the location of the cell tower than Geo-Location api, i have no prove which approach is better but I think the way geo-Location api work to get location of cell towers will probably not be accurate as OpenCellID which depends on manually identify the places of the Mobile Cell Towers.

    This work have been done in 2009 and according to the way geo-location api works, every thing went fine "at that time".

    If you know any other method to know the location of cell towers, please share in your comments