Has it ever struck you that cell tower antenna arrays are always in a triangular arrangment? This is purposely done so that a cell tower can tell which of the three antennas is receiving a signal. Each antenna covers a 120° segment, with the tower situated in the center of the aggregated circular dispersion pattern.
The tower takes a measurement of how close the transmitting device is by measuring signal strength and the round-trip signal time. This is not necessarily a highly accurate measurement, and the calculated distance has a significant margin of error. Using cell tower triangulation with 3 cell towers, a device’s location within an area about three-quarters of square mile in area.
Which may not be all that helpful when looking for a small device. Or even a large one. That’s where Geolocation XAPI rides to the rescue. By requesting the SIM position from partner network operators and matching the cell-id with our Geolocation Lookup Database, Geolocation XAPI determines the location of a M2M SIM equipped device within about 150 meters in urban areas and 2500 meters in rural areas.
While that’s not nearly as precise as GPS positioning, it does work indoors, is not susceptible to GPS jammers, is a useful mechanism for providing GPS Backup, and the results can’t be faked or manipulated as they derive directly from the network operator.