General Question

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

Do all cell phones have GPS?

Asked by xxporkxsodaxx (1386 points ) July 15th, 2008

I heard the other day that all cell phones have GPS but you can’t access it in all of the phones. Is this true or can I dismiss this?

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10 Answers

Hollister0221's avatar

no all phones do not have GPS. But every phone can be triangulated ( hope I spelled right) for an appoxumate location. This technology is what the first iPhone uses

XCNuse's avatar

No, very few do, lucky you there happens to be a list of all GPS (true GPS, not triangulation) phones built so far.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPS_Phone

Hollister0221's avatar

and the fact that the first gen iPhone did not have GPS should have answered your question

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

@XCN, No that’s not what I’m looking for, those can be used for traveling and the GPSs can be accessed by the user. My friend said that all phones since a certain date have had GPS systems required for government and phone company access. I doubted it the first time he told me.

robmandu's avatar

@porksoda, your buddy is talking about Wireless E-911 Services.

And it need not necessarily mean GPS built into the phone. The triangulation could be sufficient in many cases (obviously not in those where the phone can only “see” a single tower, though).

The schedule for its adoption and implementation was pretty aggressive… outstripping the realistic technological needs of the infrastructure. Its rollout is still underway.

XCNuse's avatar

Your friend is lying and doesn’t know what he’s talking about, this little thing about having GPS in cell phones for emergency calls was a good idea back about 3 years ago, until people raged against it as seeing it as the government could spy on people seeing EXACTLY where they are.

as robmandu has stated, they use triangulation, it is far faster and much easier.

Honestly, don’t expect discreet GPS systems to be in phones, and/when they do and if/when someone finds, not very many people will be happy.

This wasn’t an issue back in the day because landlines are connected to a person’s address, when cell phones became less of a commodity and actually used by a number of people, they couldn’t be traced to their location, so police and rescue people etc. had to have a system to locate and help you. Triangulation is the simplest and best way to do it. GPS is far harder because it requires space, a fair amount of money, a sky (you can’t be found indoors with any GPS device).

GeauxTigers's avatar

Actually, it depends on the carrier. GSM carriers tend to use triangulation for E-911 service; while CDMA carriers have actual GPS chips in the phone.

In fact, I don’t think you can walk into a Sprint or Verizon store today and get a phone without a GPS chip in it.

And with Cingular and T-Mobile, unless you’re in rural areas – there are enough towers in the area that they can pin-point your location down to a couple of meters.

Just in case you don’t trust me, check out the Popular Mechanics article on the issue.

tutwo0000's avatar

Actually GPS is inbuilt in only certain phones. But one can track the position of a mobile phone approximately without using GPS. I dont know the exact technology but i know that it is possible.

mobile phone tracking and radiative effects

bj's avatar

My question…is the gps activated ONLY by 911 calls ?

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