A call to 111 will now automatically locate you

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http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=11852885

Still need cellphone coverage tho ?.

Obviously, yes. And this is only with Android phones that have Google services enabled.

incorrect, you can track any cell phone through various means, the cell phone towers can work out where the phones are from the signal from the phone. iphones can give gps coordinates.

2 parts to this. The easy bit is the cell towers know which sector you are on and signal strength. There are 3 sectors on each tower so this gives a curve of a third of a circle and maybe a couple of km thick. If you are lucky enough to be picked up by 2 towers then you can then be located to one of 2 circles about a km in diameter. A third tower would tell which one. In NZ now all cellsites use the same technology so it doesnt have to be 2 cell sites from your provider. Of course in the hills if you have no towers picking you up you are still out of luck but towers will still track you with less signal than you can make a call with. This new settup adds to that in that they can remotely turn on your gps and read its output giving a fairly accurate result

Trampers lost in zero cell phone coverage areas may soon be able to talk to the crew of rescue helicopters. http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=247880&fm=newsmain%2Cnrhl

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11855299 I see this technology as a real game changer - wonder why it hasn't been a standard piece of SAR technology for a long time? All the components of this technology has existed for a long time, surveillance versions (Stingray) that could locate and call a mobile independent of the normal mobile network have existed for some time. This could make a big difference in the location of day-trippers and the like who get into trouble, don't have a PLB, but do have a mobile phone turned on but are out of mobile coverage. Once you know someone is missing and the general area, you should be able to locate them quickly as long as their mobile is on, even if they are unconscious or dead.

needs the money behind it to put it in place, the arguments have to be listened to for using it, when those with the purse strings finally wake up to how many lives are at risk without it and how much tie is wasted trying to find people who could be found if they could talk to them on their cell phones or track their cell phones from the outset

Just for clarity ... and specifically in answer to Pro-active, the answer is no you do not need to have standard cell-phone coverage to any of the fixed network carriers, ie Spark, Vodafone, or 2 Deg. Instead the SAR helicopter carries a cut-down version of the same technology that standard cell phone tower stations use, but with some extra features. The idea is that it becomes useful during an already active search. "In its current form, the Search and Rescue Network detects a cell phone 'ping' - a signal mobile phones emit when they are attempting to connect with a nearby cell site. Once the ping is detected by the equipment inside the helicopter, it shows up on an on-board computer, giving SAR teams a narrowed search area to locate the missing person. When that person hears the helicopter overhead, they can check for signal bars on their cell phone and make a 111 emergency call, which is answered by rescue crew inside the helicopter. The missing person can then communicate with the helicopter crew via any mobile phone, providing crucial information such as their condition, any landmarks or other information about their location. This can then be shared with SAR rescue crews on the ground to help direct their search efforts."

Did you read the article cited in the first message of this thread? "This data is provided by a mobile network operator (for all handset types), or by a handset (if an Android handset). It is more accurate for Android phones which will be located within metres, while Apple phones will use the nearest cellphone tower." "New Zealand is the first country outside of Europe to go live with Google's Android Emergency Location service nationally." This announcement is not related to the SAR helicopter carrying a baseband station, it is related to sending automatically your position when you make a call to 111, in a coverage area. The positioning doesn't require a signal on Android (it's using the phone GPS), but to send the location to 111 it needs to have network coverage (any network). If you can't call 111 (no coverage), the helicopter won't come until you are declared missing… Please don't confuse different technologies, this might confuse people and make them think they don't need a PLB… And this technology is specific to Android, this is not related to the capacity of the phone to do GPS, this is a network service that is not currently implemented by Apple as far as I know. In that case 111 will have access to cell station triangulation, just like before. This is based on AML see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Mobile_Location_%28AML%29 It works by sending a silent SMS or doing an HTTP request (if data is available) to send your location. So there is *zero* way to have this working if you are out of coverage. "AML automatically turns on mobile data on the headset (which may lead to charges to the user), automatically contacts NTP servers and sets date, and sends IMSI/IMEI over unencrypted (but invisible to the user) SMS message." Also this won't work if you don't have a SIM card in your phone. This also doesn't work with tourists as they don't have a local SIM card. So it's much better, but still not completely reliable.

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Forum The campfire
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On 12 May 2017
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