IRIS-IDFL examiners are experienced at analyzing cellular service provider call detail records and cell site location data. We recognize the benefits and drawbacks of the use of historical cell site location data as evidence.
Cell Site Analysis uses records from mobile phone service providers to reconstruct the physical movements of a mobile device and establishing the historical geographical location of a phone when calls, text messages or data were sent or received.
Historical Record Reliability:
Cell-site analysis is derived from historical data and is often based on many assumptions. A mobile device does not always connect to the closest cell site. Our mobile forensic experts have the knowledge and understanding of how these factors affect the validity of the reported data. The evidence identified from these records can be especially powerful in attributing contact between individuals, establishing the proximity to a scene of crime, identifying patterns in the movement of suspects, and testing the strength of alibi evidence. Evidence from cell site analysis can be combined with other evidence such as CCTV or call data records to determine if the accused was in fact at the scene of the crime or to confirm an alibi.
Location mapping is an important process in cell site analysis investigations, determining the actual operational footprint of individual and groups of telecommunication masts, cell sites, and radio signal antenna. Because the service provider records are based on historical information, there are many other factors to consider.
Conditions such as weather, foliage and geography can affect an antenna’s range. Also, the range of cell sites varies greatly, especially from urban to rural areas. Cell site coverage can overlap significantly, and the size and shape of a cell site’s range shifts constantly.
Cell Site Health & Maintenance Aspects:
Other factors come into play when considering cell-site analysis. The type of technology used, the health and maintenance of the equipment, the amount of network traffic, the height of the antenna and angle of the transceivers are some factors that can influence what cell-site a device utilizes at a given point in time.
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