Cell site analysis, mobile phone location tracking

Cell site analysis can be tide changing in regards your case. Using a mobile phone’s call data records also known as CDR’s supplied by the mobile phone company using a court order we can trace the historic geographical movement of the phone as it moved from place to place. A phone can be attributed to to a person and we can make an approximation of the location of that individual. CDR’s are in essence enhanced billing records that tell us the nearest cell cite mast the call was routed through. From the these call data records, costing around £50 from the network provider, we can ascertain the approximate coordinates plotted on a map. Perhaps your client has been accused of an incident in Leeds. It is pretty strong evidence if the CDR’s indicate the suspect (or at least their mobile phone) was in a particular cell site location at the time of a murder.

We can also ascertain coordinates from the CDR’s and initiate a ‘drive by’ testing the radio signal strength and trying to estimate location with a greater degree of accuracy. Plotting a location against time we can ascertain movement direction of a particular mobile phone user. Building and hills can project the cell signal in other direction to the specified cell location on the government OFCOM site. This could mean you client was innocent.

A common mistake in cell site analysis cases is that the prosecution may fail to check with the network provider (3 , 02, Virgin, Orange etc) with mobile operator that any changes to masts had occurred prior to the radio tests. This could mean the direction could be opposite to what the investigation party picked up in their cell site analysis mobile phone forensic investigation.

The way the cell site telecommunications system works is the base transceiver system (BTS) also called a base station or cell site acts as the antenna in which to route the calls through. These cell sites are controlled by the base station controller (BSC) The base station controller manages protocols for the cell sites buffering transfers/receipt of calls and assignment of call frequency. The base station operates communication between mobile telephone handsets within a give cell azimuth. This gives cell site analysis experts a chance to approximate location using special equipment.