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Detect if site visitor is using cellular data

Posted on 2011-02-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi, we are running a private medium sized file hosting site (in php) which offers differing features depending on device (Desktop, Mobile device etc..).

Currently the device is detected by querying $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'] However this does not seem to hold any clues as to a data service the vistor is using. Our client is requesting restrictions be made depending if the user is using their device on a wifi connection or on a mobile data connection.

Is their any known way to detect (by either php, js or htaccess) if a visitor on a mobile device is on a wifi network of on a cellular data network.

Thanks for any help.

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Question by:DEGtheLEG
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by:DominoG
ID: 34960089
The only way I can think of to achieve this is by building (or acquiring/purchasing) a database containing  the IP ranges of cellular data providers.

This method won't be perfect by any stretch though as more and more cellular providers are also stretching into fixed line/wireless ISP's.
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DominoG earned 500 total points
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by:David Brennan
ID: 34962797
Yes I agree with DominoG I think that to get it perfect is more or less an impossible task. There's definitely nothing in the  $_SERVER array with that sort of info, you would need up-to-date info on all networks. You could do a speed test, but that would be very inaccurate and could result in a Wifi broadband user being sometimes put onto the 3G site. I would not recommend this sort of thing at all.....
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