Journal article

Network-based wireless location: challenges faced in developing techniques for accurate wireless location information

Wireless location refers to the geographic coordinates of a mobile subscriber in cellular or wireless local area network (WLAN) environments. Wireless location finding has emerged as an essential public safety feature of cellular systems in response to an order issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1996. The FCC mandate aims to solve a serious public safety problem caused by the fact that, at present, a large proportion of all 911 calls originate from mobile phones, the location of which cannot be determined with the existing technology. However, many difficulties intrinsic to the wireless environment make meeting the FCC objective challenging. These challenges include channel fading, low signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), multiuser interference, and multipath conditions. In addition to emergency services, there are many other applications for wireless location technology, including monitoring and tracking for security reasons, location sensitive billing, fraud protection, asset tracking, fleet management, intelligent transportation systems, mobile yellow pages, and even cellular system design and management. This article provides an overview of wireless location challenges and techniques with a special focus on network-based technologies and applications.


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