How to identify where the mobile users are?

Hello Experts.

What are the best way to identify where the mobile users are?


The identification of users positioning is a challenge in any Mobile Network.

Having accurate information allows you to do a better Planning, Optimization and so on.

There are several ways to find it, for example using Tools (both commercial and free/open source).

One way is to use crowdsourcing tools (Telecom Crowd-sourced Data).

Also, you can do Traces and Drive Tests.

You can also find it using counters (every vendor has their own set of counters - but basically same info).
Counters are TA (Timing Advance) in 2G and 4G, and PD (Propagation Delay) in 3G and 4G.
(I wrote an article about it long time ago, when i was working in Design & Optimisation → Analyzing Coverage with Propagation Delay - PD and Timing Advance - TA (GSM-WCDMA-LTE)

I am working with telecomHall team to bring this kind of features in the new coming Hunter CE tool → Hunter CE - Before we begin


TDOA (Time Distance of Arrival) methode. I worked in my master degree to localizer TDMA network users (we costructed the algoritme). Nowadays, the algoritme is working together with another methodes to localize cell service subscribers


Hi Roberto, @Helmsma1

would you mind writing little bit more about TDOA? Like where do you “extract” it from (like from measurement reports?) and if you tested with real data from major vendors (HW, NSN ou Err) ?


Hi @vitalii, I used the neighbor list to get the power level received from each site, calculating, through the Friis equation, the signal travel time and some propagation model constants to determine equipotential surfaces of signal levels. Then, by crossing these surfaces of each site in the list of neighbors, the location was found. But today there are more modern techniques.

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Cool! Thank you very much for your answer. Quite interesting!