A new service has been launched in the UK to enable willing participant to have the position of their mobile phone tracked. mapAmobile is currently working on the Vodafone, O2, Orange and T-Mobile networks.
It works by monitoring the strength of signal from aerials and triangulating between them. They claim accuracy within 50 metres but this will vary depending on the density of aerial, so rural locations will be less accurate.
Priced as ~£30 for a year for one phone, there is a charge of 30p each time the service is used, which is slightly strange given they’re selling it as an alternative to texting or phoning the person. Registration is either online or a voucher can be bought at Carphone Warehouse.
On signup, the target-tracked phone is sent an SMS asking for approval to be tracked, as well as regular reminders. The location can be interograted either online, via SMS or telephone and will be given as ‘Fred is in the vicinity of Bow Street, London WC2’ together with the date, time and accuracy of the location. You will also have the option to see a map showing street names and points of interest.