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Cell Phone Tracking Part Two

Cell Phone Tracking Part Two

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Published by Mani Shankar Prasad
it is a follow up of part One tutorial on Cell phone tracking.
it is a follow up of part One tutorial on Cell phone tracking.

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Published by: Mani Shankar Prasad on Jul 18, 2011
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Cell Phone Tracking/Positioning Technology Review Part 2 
M S Prasad 
In this part TWO of Cell phone tracking/ positioning , we are going to explore the signal strength based tracking and positioning of Cell phones. The methods to improve accuracy using some signal processing algorithms are also given with further reading references.
GSM System
Global Mobile System ( GSM) is a digital wireless network developed by European Digital Mobilestandards , operating on two frequency bands 900 & 1800 MHz. The GSM frequency band utilizes twobands separated by 25 MHz and each band divided into 200 KHz Channel commonly known as “Absolute Radio frequency Channel Numbers ( ARFCN ) uses TDMA technique
r Channel use bymultiple users. A GSM TDMA slot is composed of 8 timeslots per frame ( each 156.25 bits wide)leading to 125x8 = 1000 traffic channels.( 200 KHz channel spacing in 25Mhz gives 125 channel )The GSM system uses GMSK (Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying with Bt =0.3) modulation techniquegiving the effective data rate per user as 270.833 /8 = 33.854 kbps. This modulation technique has beenadopted for its power and spectral efficiencies as well having smooth phase trajectory Due to otheroverheads actual transmission rate is 24.7 Kbps . The signaling bit duration is of 3.692 µs.The data burst( consisting of data& control signals encoded by a Cyclic polynomial ) is first converted
into NRZ ( Є [
-1,1]) stream. This stream is passed through a Gaussian Filter given as :h(t) = exp ( )where x =
σ =
and BT stands for bandwidth bit duration product = 0.3
The modulation rate is 1/T = 162.5 K/6 symbols /sec
GSM Control Channels
Besides the traffic channels there are a group of control channels defined which handle systeminformation, connection setup and connection control
Broadcast Control Channel (
) group handles beacon signaling, synchronization of MSwith the serving BTS, timing advance adjustment, it comprises of
BCCH – Broadcast Control Channel
FCCH – Frequency Control Channel
SCH – Synchronization Channel
BCCH is responsible for
Sending out of beacon on one frequency per cell (by BTS)
Contains 16bit Location Area (LA) code
ust be
on Time Slot #0, following time slots used by TCH
BCCH provides:
Details of the control channel configuration
Parameters to be used in the cell
Random access back off values
Maximum power an MS may access (MS_TXPWR_MAX_CCCH)
BCCH provides:
Minimum received power at MS (RXLEV_ACCESS_MIN)
Is cell allowed? (CELL_BAR_ACCESS)
List of carriers used in the cell
Needed if frequency hopping is applied
List of BCCH carriers and BSIC of neighbouring cells
FCCH is responsible for first part of MS tuning (synchronisation of mobile device to BTSsignal)
MS listens on strongest beacon for a pure sine wave (FCCH), first coarse bitsynchronization used for fine tuning of oscillator
Immediately after follows a SCH burst
SCH: Fine tuning of synchronization (64 bits training sequence)
Read burst content for synchronization data 
25 bits (+ 10 parity + 4 tail + ½ convolution coding = 78bits)
6 bits: BSIC, 19 bits: Frame Number (reduced)
Finally MS is able to read BCCH information
Cell IdentificationCell Identification technique operates in GSM, GPRS and WCDMA mobile/cellular networks. It is asimple and easy way to locate a cell phone by identifying the serving cell. This technique requiresidentifying, communicating and locating the base station to which the mobile phone is connected. Itpasses the location of the base station as the location of the mobile user to location service applications.As a mobile user moves around, network keeps tabs on which base station it can reach the mobile andhence the location is updated.
The accuracy of this technique to find the location depends upon the infrastructure / physical architectureof the network i.e. the size and density of the cells. Systems with smaller cells such as in rural areas willhave more precision than systems with large cells. Accuracy is in between 100meter to 20kilometer.
A Base Transceiver Station (BTS) covers a set of cells, each of them identified by a unique Cell-ID (i.e. C1, C2 and C3 in the figure). A Mobile Station (MS), continuously selects a cell, andexchanges data and signaling traffic with the corresponding BTS. Cells are grouped intoclusters, each of them identified by a Location Area Identifier (LAI). In order to avoid excessivesignaling traffic, as long as the MS is in idle mode, the network knows only the LAI. The networkbecomes aware of the Cell-ID only when the MS switch into dedicated mode, namely when thechannel is used to actually establish a call. In contrast, the MS always knows the Cell-ID of thecell
it is in.
Timing Advance (TA)
Number of milliseconds the signal from the mobile phone travels to base station corresponds to timingadvance. The time at which a terminal sends its transmission burst is critical to the efficient functioning of a GSM network. GSM uses the Time Division Multiple Access technology for sharing one frequencybetween several users, assigning timeslots to the individual mobile users sharing a frequency; each mobileuser can transmit only in a certain time. But the users are in different distances from the base station, theprecise time the phone is allowed to transmit (timeslot) has to be adjusted accordingly.
This value indicates the number of bits that the mobile station has to consider to advance thetransmission burst so that data arrives in the correct time slot of TDMA-frame. The resolutionof this calculation is 1 bit , which is of 3.69
s in GSM. Hence based on this location of MSwould be a ring of circle of 3.69 /2 = 1.85
s or 554 m.
Signal Strength

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