Motivated by events of 9/11 2001 and problems with 911 calls from cellular phones, FCC requires that by end of 2005 all cell phone carriers must be able to trace 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 same as GPS devices used by hikers, mariners and drivers. Lower cost models do not allow 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 system uses both cell phone towers and satellites as location finders.
There are advantages and disadvantages in new technology. The cost to implement program will be passed on to consumers -– cell phones will cost more. Privacy is a real concern with 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 spam you are flooded with on your home computer will now be sent to your cell phone.
Using GPS 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 consumer is issue of emergency aid and that was 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, list goes on. If coverage is available then GPS cell phones save lives.