GSM Location Area Code (LAC) and Cell ID

Posted on 2004-11-17
Last Modified: 2013-12-09

Nokia Net monitor enables me to view Location Area Code (LAC) and Cell Id (CID) from which my phone currenly connected to.

Is there a way to obtain LAC and CID data from other mobile phone users, remotely?

thanx in advance...

Question by:harvester4256
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    You can't view other users location information elements like that from AT command set.  You're welcome to write your own application to do that. However first you must query the phone/device at the other end to see if they want to even release that info to you.  Assuming they did, then they could send you their current location info in an SMS packet. The whole transaction could be carried out in SMS if you like. (You don't even need GPRS!) Develop the app, run it on each device and tell us if if works.

    I could maybe see a useful application for this, like finding your friend who might be lost and unable to tell you where they are. However a cell is a rather large entity, and doesn't narrow the location down very much. What did you have in mind for this?

    Let's say you can plug the phone into your laptop comm port and open a Hyperterminal to it. That would allow you to write AT commands, in theory (this kind of tinkering works much better with a PC card modem).  To view one's own location information from the AT commands:
    Some cards use CGREG rather than CREG. On some cards both commands work.

    This turns on the unsolicited messages feature also, so if your cell changes you'll notification about it. To test this, pull out your antenna and wait for the CREG message to appear with null parameters.

    Remember that LAC and CI are optional for CREG. You must set the "2" above or those items won't display.  

    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    thanx for the help.

    How many number number of ways to send and read sms without using AT command. pls also let us know about link where we can find the help with some source help.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    If your phone came with PC software that often has an SMS interface in it. Look in the menu of the software. It is really dependent on the phone  manufacturer so you have to look at their docs.

    What do you mean by "source help?" What kind of phone do you have? What OSs does that phone support? Do you have a language preference? Need more details. Also do you want to learn how to write software for mobile phones?

    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    > Is there a way to obtain LAC and CID data from other mobile phone users, remotely?
    Yes, there is if your mobile phone offers a OS and programming language that is able to access to the monitor mode of the phone.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    The Benefon phones will accept an SMS command which returns cell ID, timing delay and signal strength of a number of cells. This would be good but... Only problem is to my knowledge the operators will not give you the locations and cell IDs to make use of this information. Unless anyone knows differently?

    Author Comment

    Greetings to Everyone!

    Thanks seekin, I do have a way to obtain those Cell ID codes, in fact i already have the complete LAC and Cell ID codes in our Area, and the only problem left is how to get those codes from other mobile phones.
    I'm going to use this capability to track down and help the authorities to bust those SMS scammers, kidnappers which uses mobile phones to communicate.

    Our Telecom operators give such codes to authorities but with accuracy within 300 to 550 meter radius and sometimes its too late, and my aim is to improve the accuracy and efficiency of this Mobile positioning System.

    Can you show me those SMS commands which will provide the said codes and i will try it in our local Telecom and see if it works.

    Thanks in advance.
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    Some further news on "GSM location by Timing Advance"

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