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What is Cell Phone Tracking?

Cell phone tracking can be defined as any method that is used to track a  location harnessing the use of modern technology within the use of the targeted cell phone. The cell phone can be tracked whether it is moving or stationary. In order for cell phone tracking to work at all it must emit at least one working signal.

Cell phones are tracked in two major ways, either by radio antennas that use roaming signals to contact nearby antenna towers or by using GPS (Global Positioning System.)  Global mobile positioning systems are services that disclose the actual coordinates of a mobile phone bearer.  Such cell phone tracking services are also sometimes calls LBS or Location Based Services.

There are also network based services that use the infrastructure of a service provider to identify the location of a phone. The advantage of using this type of cell phone tracking is that you do not need to install any software on the target phone in order to have it work. It is done from a remote location and the service is provided by your cell phone provider.

One of the most popular types of cell phone tracking methods requires the installation of client software on the handset so that it’s location can be determined. The cell phone handset is identified and then located by GPS.

Information about cell phone location can also be determined by SIM cards which can contain raw measurements that can be assessed. However all cell phone hand sets also  IMEI - International Mobile Equipment Identity. This is the number of the handset and remains constant even if the SIM card is changed. This means that even if a SIM card is switched or a  cell phone is turned off, the location of the cell phone can still be verified.

Many companies use a combination of both hand-set and network based strategies and technologies for tracking a cell phone.  Google Latitude, instaMapper and Mologogo are great examples of these types of technologies.  The viewable maps are available to anyone but the actual tracking system can be private.

The newer smart phones can be tracked when off and inactive through the roaming signals that are sent from one antenna tower to another.

When combined with technology know as keylogger tracking these types of cell phone location technologies can be extremely effective at locating a cell phone anywhere..  Many companies offer these services which are legal to use and very accurate.