Motivated by the events of 9/11 2001 and problems with
911 calls from cellular phones, the FCC requires that by the end of 2005
all cell phone carriers must be able to trace the location of cell phone
calls to within a range of no more than 100 meters.
Cell phones are already available with GPS technology installed.
These systems are not the same as the GPS devices used by hikers, mariners
and drivers. Lower cost models do not allow the user to enter data such as
mapping software. All systems require a wireless network.
Cell phones with GPS technology use AGPS (Assisted
Global Positioning System). Assisted because the system uses both cell
phone towers and satellites as location finders.
There are advantages and disadvantages in the new technology. The cost to
implement the program will be passed on to consumers - cell phones will
cost more. Privacy is a real concern with the general public especially in
this day of identity theft. It is a concern that unknown people will be
able to access your location. Also there is a possibility that the spam
you are flooded with on your home computer will now be sent to your cell
cell phones to track people has some great advantages. Locating
kids and family can be a blessing. Remember though, if you try to
locate someone who is out of your calling area, you will be charged extra.
The obvious benefit for the consumer is the issue
of emergency aid and that was the catalyst for this whole
idea of GPS cell
phones. A 911 call that can be quickly located, emergency roadside
assistance, locating persons missing in remote areas, the list goes on. If
coverage is available then GPS cell phones save lives.
already have GPS cell phones available. You can buy the basic model
for emergency tracking or you can pay for the technology that turns the cell
phone into a sophisticated mapping, PDA system. Problems
are still an issue with the advanced features. The more you use the
advanced features, the greater the drain on the battery. Increasing
battery size also increases the cell phone size and that is a problem for
most consumers who want ever smaller, lighter devices to carry around. At
this time Japan seems to have the edge on developing the high-end
miniature GPS cell phone.
Sacrificing privacy for safety is the issue and I suspect that it would
only take one positive outcome in an emergency situation to make the
decision for you.
As the systems become more and more refined camera and PDA capabilities
are being included into the phone itself. Developments in GPS cell phone
technology are continuing. If programmers can solve the issues of privacy
then the potential for GPS cell phones is incredible. It will no longer be
an issue of "Can you hear me now?" Rather the question will be,
"Can you find me now?"