19 Oct 2012

Trace Current Location Of Mobile Number

I've been wondering if there's a way or mechanism to trace the current location of mobile via Internet or any other method. I recall a brief discussion we've had about this in the past, but it did not answer whether it's possible. Of course the mobile service providers have the tool to trace the location of any mobile device. But can we, by any means find out where in the world is a mobile located? There used to be an Orkut application that would inform you the exact current location of a mobile device, but looks like it's been disabled since then. Not aware of any app on Facebook though.

Popular SMS service provider way2sms had this facility of allowing people to track the mobile numbers; but I don't find it on the site anymore. I'm not even sure whether it's legally permitted to trace the location of any mobile device because logically TRAI (the telecom regulatory authority of India) won't allow such a facility to people. Why? The reason is very simple - it could be a serious breach of privacy.

There are services like IndiaTrace.com but the service seems to be very unreliable. I tried to trace my own mobile number and it defaulted my location to Mumbai, which is incorrect. I think the service just finds out the service provider and the type of connection (that is GSM or CDMA) and then displays the default location for that service provider. For my number, the service provider is Idea Cellular and the location seems to be Mumbai. Yes, the service did track that I'm currently in Maharashtra; but that's not at all precise. It would be great if some of you can find out whether the service can track the state correctly; if your mobile is registered (bought) in another state.

Some of the users have said that it's possible to track the location of any mobile number provided the mobile is switched on and you have the unique IMEI number of the device. IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity and each mobile device has this unique number. I searched whether IMEI number can be used to tract the location with considerable precision, but there isn't any method listed.

Of course the best method would be to track a device using GPS; but there are several limitations to this. First, you need to have the device to have GPS receiver and it should be turned on. This discussion is about using other methods to locate the exact current location of mobile. If you have any ideas, techniques or methods to share on how to do it, I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in finding out.
19 Oct 2012
There's an interesting read in the Android documentation (Location Strategies) about determining current location of mobile user.
  • GPS, Wi-Fi, Cell-ID are various ways to determine the location, but picking up which to use is tricky.
  • Since a mobile gadget is always or most of the times moving, it becomes very challenging to determine the exact current location. It requires frequent re-estimation.
[Prototype]

[Prototype]

Branch Unspecified
19 Oct 2012
No, its not legal and cannot be done by common individual. The mobile operator can estimate your location according to the tower, the cell phone is using, but this service is not accessible by common man. It will require orders from high authority only in case of investigation.

You can estimate how big threat it is to security if such a power is given to common individual.

The GPS and all are advanced features and can be controlled by the owner. If he's connected with GPS then yes, its possible to trace. The google service as well estimates the location, don't know how. May be the mobile transmits the information regarding the tower through which google estimates the location. The accuracy of it is within 200-700m, so I guess its something like that only.
Abhishek Rawal

Abhishek Rawal

Electronics and Communication
19 Oct 2012
I think even for mobile operators it is hard to locate "exact" location, as a single "cell" consist of big area.

Every Android user doesn't keep their GPS ON, mine is always OFF.
I wonder how it is possible for common person to trace the location.

One question : How GPS helps in tracing the location? Does packet-data is sent from satellite to tower to Phone then to service provider for tracing ?
hinesh

hinesh

Branch Unspecified
19 Oct 2012
The_Big_K : yes, its hard to pin point some one's location by mobile.
but it can be done, with the exact frequency of mobile operator in particular area. but its tough to do and it require you many equipment that is not available to common people. the technique is also known as reverse engineering.

[Prototype] : yes your right, the technology is not available to common man and its very tough to do. in GPS system, our mobile act as radio transmitter and its also transmits the location ID given by cell-operator tower.(because of cell id we have area name displayed in our mobile, or area-tower name). From that id the satellite tracks location of signal receiving and gives the return signal to base station and as the map was already feed in to the system it gives location by map.

Troll_So_Hard : yes, it does the same by GPS. but its based on cell-id.
transmitted by the particular cell-tower., that helps to track area very close by or in some case we can pin-point because cell always transmits its location to operator company's tower to be in its range.
Pensu

Pensu

Branch Unspecified
19 Oct 2012
I actually thought about it 2 years ago and I wanted to implement it as a project. But turned out its illegal to do it because of breach of privacy as stated above. Telecom operators can do it, I guess as I have heard a lot of news police catching thieves by tracing their phone numbers.
lal

lal

Branch Unspecified
19 Oct 2012
If our phone is in range now, the possibility is that the phone has signal reception from many base stations(towers) around it at any given instant. That means, it can choose from many base stations it can communicate with. Among these, the phone chooses the nearest one to connect to. For instance, right now my phone recieves signal from 5 base stations around me. But its using only one for communication. And all these base stations have a unique id and their location are perfectly known. By having the information from all the 5 base stations my phone is communicating with right now, i think my location can be almost accurately figured out.

If it is an urban area, then there would be many base stations around. And that implies more accuracy.

Every base station has a unique identification called cell id. The google map application uses this data along with another data called location area code. With the help of these two, the google maps application approximates our position even without a GPS.

If anyone here is still using Symbian OS, try the nokia field test application to know about the various base stations the phone has reception now, their cell Ids and the location area code.
Once u have those figures, go here and fill in to know the position of the base station in a map 😀
https://www.cell2gps.com
yugal kishore

yugal kishore

Branch Unspecified
22 Nov 2012
You can find out your location by getting cell id ,MNC (Mobile network code), MCC (Mobile County code) . My application available for aneroid phone which tells you all above information . With the help of this information you can find out your location.
22 Nov 2012
yugal kishore : Could you tell us a bit more about your application? How does it use the mobile network code and mobile country code to trace the current location? Also I'm curious to know the accuracy of your application - how does it compare with the location tracked by GPS? I'd also like to have the link to your Android App, if it's available in the Google play store.

I'm more interested in the back-end operations of this tracker.
[Prototype]

[Prototype]

Branch Unspecified
22 Nov 2012
yugal kishore
You can find out your location by getting cell id ,MNC (Mobile network code), MCC (Mobile County code) . My application available for aneroid phone which tells you all above information . With the help of this information you can find out your location.
We are talking about tracing someone else's phone. For the phone with physical access, all you ever need is google maps to get your current location. If you have GPS, then you will be pinpointed already.
Anoop Kumar

Anoop Kumar

Branch Unspecified
22 Nov 2012
Troll_So_Hard
I think even for mobile operators it is hard to locate "exact" location, as a single "cell" consist of big area.

Every Android user doesn't keep their GPS ON, mine is always OFF.
I wonder how it is possible for common person to trace the location.

One question : How GPS helps in tracing the location? Does packet-data is sent from satellite to tower to Phone then to service provider for tracing ?
GPS uses electromagnetic signal direct to satellite rather than packet data. You don't need to enable packet data to navigate using GPS. there some offline maps like NavMap India and Sygic are there for android/iOS devices.


Just like satellite mobile towers use to try to determine phone location.
Turn on you packet data and goto Google Maps it shows your location totally inaccurate but when you start moving , your phone try to capture best signal from nearby tower and therefore using multiple towers it can able determine phone location, some how accurate but not pin point as GPS.
yugal kishore

yugal kishore

Branch Unspecified
22 Nov 2012
The_Big_K
yugal kishore : Could you tell us a bit more about your application? How does it use the mobile network code and mobile country code to trace the current location? Also I'm curious to know the accuracy of your application - how does it compare with the location tracked by GPS? I'd also like to have the link to your Android App, if it's available in the Google play store.

I'm more interested in the back-end operations of this tracker.
you can't find out yours exact location.you need to put the information of MNC MMC etc to this site https://www.cell2gps.com/ site and u will get your tower location with accuracy 1000 m to 3000 m.
Ankita Katdare

Ankita Katdare

Computer Science
16 Apr 2015
Sorry for bringing up an old discussion, but I thought it was best to reply here than post a new thread.
Recently one of my friends lost his mobile phone in an overcrowded vegetable market and tried all kinds of apps to search the location of mobile number before lodging a complaint in police station.

By checking a service called FindAndTrace, I tried searching my own mobile number, but it could only tell that the number was registered in Maharashtra circle.

I guess conveying the IMEI number to police will fetch you the location of your handset.

To know the position of a discarded SIM card (because chances of the thief throwing your SIM card away the moment he lays his hands on your handset are HIGH), one can contact the mobile operator company.

Has anyone had any luck on this?
sshanthi

sshanthi

Branch Unspecified
22 Sep 2015
Sir, i want to find a person to whom i lost my money.... i want to search that person at his present tower with the help of his mobile.... is it possible? If yes, tell me the detailed procedure of it..... it may useful to many persons who search for the problems like this
sshanthi

sshanthi

Branch Unspecified
22 Sep 2015
Sir, pls tell me the detailed method to trace person at his current location using his phone no.,
Ankita Katdare

Ankita Katdare

Computer Science
22 Sep 2015
sshanthi
Sir, pls tell me the detailed method to trace person at his current location using his phone no.,
Did you visit the police station? They can help you trace the mobile number if you know it.
bellary81

bellary81

Branch Unspecified
31 Oct 2015
Before filing case in police station, I also want to trace one of the person's mobile tower who cheated me for job and stealed my money from my account.If anyone know about any application.Kindly reply.
Ankita Katdare

Ankita Katdare

Computer Science
04 Dec 2015
bellary81
I also want to trace one of the person's mobile tower who cheated me for job
So you are saying that you have the mobile number and want to trace the mobile tower from where he/she called you? I guess that's completely new to this discussion. I think the best way to do that is via your IMEI number. The police can help you track it.
Pirathipa S

Pirathipa S

Branch Unspecified
23 Jun 2018

How I know my husband current location

23 Jun 2018

@Pirathipa‍ - Google Maps now has a feature that allows for tracking of any mobile's location in real time. What you could do is enable indefinite location sharing on their mobile phone - and add you as the contact to share live location with.

Your husband's mobile will need to have data enabled all the time. You'll then be able to see all your husband's whereabouts on your Google Maps. 

Does this help?

Radhika Deshpande

Radhika Deshpande

Computer Science
23 Jun 2018

Thanks for the information. This is helpful.

18 Sep 2018

@bellary81 - there aren't any good apps or services that let you track any persons's mobile number. The only way to track current location of your own mobile number  is to activate the location sharing option in Google Maps.

For this to work, you will have to keep the 'location' aka GPS setting on your mobile in always On mode. Yes, it will be a bit heavy on your mobile phone's battery; but it's still worth it. 

If the location is on, and the person who stole your mobile phone has not changed your account password, you can simply login to Google's Find My Device service using any web browser and see the current location of your mobile.

This is the only allowed and legit way of tracking current location. There's an app for it in the Android Play Store. 

I do not know that are some suspicious websites that promise to track the location; but they ask you to enter your mobile number first. 

When you do that - they will simply record it and sell your mobile phone number data to the advertisers; who will then send you unwanted sms and messages. Be well informed before you use any such service. 

Mobile number tracking is not allowed unless the person being tracked has consented. For example, in WhatsApp, user can select how long their current location will be visible to the contacts they have allowed. 

I hope this solves your query. 

kumar prasun

kumar prasun

Electronics and Communication
21 Sep 2018

if we can by any means switch on the GPS of the lost mobile using web....i think the solution will be easier.....

Heather James

Heather James

Transport
04 May 2019

Looking for the position of a phone in bris aus phone no is 0450487220

05 May 2019

@Heather James - It'd be impossible to track the phone if it does not have GPS on. Are you sure that the number has 'location' set to 'on'? 

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