Software pinpoints wireless handset locations

Law enforcement agencies can now pinpoint the precise location of handheld devices for lawful intercept measures using new software from Polaris Wireless.

The software, based on the company’s Wireless Location Signatures (WLS) technology, gives agencies the ability to more effectively monitor voice calls and data sessions lawfully so the information can be used in criminal investigations and anti-terrorism efforts.

“Most lawful intercept applications focus primarily on intercepting mobile traffic rather than determining the exact locations of the call’s originating mobile device and recipient,” said Manlio Allegra, president and chief executive officer of Polaris Wireless.

Adding accurate handset locations to lawful interception solutions increases the value of the information gathered and gives law enforcement officials more precise, focused capabilities for criminal investigations, he added.

The Polaris Wireless solution uses WLS technology to quickly determine a mobile device’s location to within 50 meters. Like an individual’s unique signature, a location signature can be identified by a unique set of values that includes measurements of neighboring cell signal strengths, time delays and other network parameters, company officials said.

The WLS solution collects the information and matches incoming signals to an extensive database of values to pinpoint handset location regardless of the type of environment, company officials said.

Polaris Wireless’ mass interception functionality lets law enforcement officials determine the location of handsets on a large scale for all targets on a mobile network.

They can also monitor specific areas or borders by working with their communication carriers to create electronic geofences and then tracking handset location within the border zone and identifying devices that move in or out of the zone.

In addition, they can track the locations of mobile devices in real time or for a period of time in the past, which enables them to create a preventive security strategy and conduct post-event analysis.

The software runs on Sun Microsystems Solaris servers.

More information

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

Reader Comments

Mon, Feb 9, 2009 Pierre F. Lherisson

The Wireless Location Signature-WLS is very useful especially during search and rescue operation.However,interception is not possible if the mobile set is located in a radio blackout zone or placed in a Faraday cage.

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