Mobile service provider electronic records need to be requested before a Cell Site Analysis (CSA) can be made. Cell Site Analysis can be used to determine the location of a mobile phone SIM card or handset at the time particular services, such voice calls, SMS text messages sent or received or data connections have been used. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) have set down strict set of guidelines which should be following when making a Cell Site Analysis to ensure the data is reliable.
It is possible to reconstruct the physical movements of a mobile phone or other communications device using a SIM card through Cell Site Analysis. It may be possible to establish the validity of an alibi, a suspect’s movements, proximity to the scene of a crime or establish a person’s contacts.
All communications between a mobile phone handset and the transmitter/receiver mast use short range radio. The area around each mobile communication mast is known as Cell Site. There are thousands of Cell Sites covering the UK, of which one must be able to communicate with your handset for you to be able to make a voice call, use the data connection or messaging service, for which this information is stored primarily for billing purposes.
An expert in Cell Site Analysis can use the information supplied by a mobile service provider in conjunction with data about each mobile communication mast to build up a pattern of mobile phone usage as well as the location of the handset during the period being investigated.
CSA, What is Possible
Cell Site Analysis is not an exact science, as the location of the mobile device can only be tracked to an approximate area, but it can give a detailed record of voice calls, text messaging. It is used to make predictions about the location of the mobile device being investigated at specified times of interest.
This information is however subject to the proviso that although the mobile device and SIM may be own and registered by a particular person, it is possible that somebody else be using the device, with or without consent. In order to be assured of who used the mobile phone, further evidence is required, some of which may be provided by the call log and text messages.