Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Improving Cell Tower Geo-Location Using Quantum Clock Timing

Robson T. Reza(1), Viranjay M. Srivastava(2*)

(1) Department of Electronic Engineering, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
(2) Department of Electronic Engineering, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
(*) Corresponding author



Precise round trip timing for a transmitted electromagnetic wave is key when triangulating using timing techniques i.e. TDoA, ToA and RTT. Using mobile based location services or network assisted location based trilateration, a low drift and high frequency clock is ideal. GPS has always had a leading edge it terms of accuracy when it came to triangulation, because the GPS satellites use quantum timers to keep precise time. This research work intends to minimise timing error by the use of high precision master clock from a Network Time Protocol (NTP) server driven by a caesium oscillator. In this work, we have proposed to negate the use of timing capabilities of the handheld device in calculating the time of propagation between itself and the radio access interface (Um interface) and instead use proprietary vendor quantum timing clocks. In the proposed model, the cell tower will send a time stamp on a Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH) burst. The burst will contain a time stamp on a Time Division Multiple access (TDM) time slot. Clock reference for the NTP server will be via GPS.
Copyright © 2018 Praise Worthy Prize - All rights reserved.


Time of Arrival; Triangulation; Spectrum; Global System for Mobile Communications; Geolocation; Network Time Protocol; Radio Access Network

Full Text:



Robert P. Biuk Aghai, “GSM-based provider-independent positioning method,” Location Asia 2007, Hong Kong, China, 13-14 Sept. 2007, pp. 1-9.

Jie Yang, Alexander Varshavsky, Hongbo Liu, Yingying Chen, and Marco Gruteser, “Accuracy characterization of cell tower localization,”12th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2010), Copenhagen, Denmark, 26-29 Sept. 2010, pp. 223-226.

Yan Cui, Ruxiao An, and Kartik B. Ariyur, “Cellphone geolocation via magnetic mapping,” Automatica, vol. 51, pp. 70-79, Jan. 2015.

Rinku Dewri and Ramakrishna Thurimella, “Mobile local search with noisy locations,” Pervasive and Mobile Computing, vol. 32, pp. 78-92, Oct. 2016.

Robson D.A. Timoteo, Lizandro N. Silva, Daniel C. Cunha, and George D.C. Cavalcanti, “An approach using support vector regression for mobile location in cellular networks,” Computer Networks, vol. 95, pp. 51-61, Feb. 2016.

Liu Cheng Chen, Xiao Gong Hu, Chun Hao Han, Jin Ping Chen, “Research on the Fitting Algorithms of Almanac Parameters for Navigation Satellites,” Chinese Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 90-98, Jan-March 2009.

Alan Oxley, Uncertainties in GPS Positioning: A Mathematical Discourse, Elsevier Academic Press, 2017.

Bernhard Hofmann Wellenhof, Herbert Lichtenegger and Elmar Wasle, GNSS – Global Navigation Satellite, 1st Ed., Springer Wien, New York, USA, 2007.

Peng Dong Ju and Wu Bin, “The effect of GPS ephemeris on the accuracy of precise orbit determination of LEO satellite-borne GPS,” Chinese Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 206-216, April-June 2009.

Thavisak Manodham, Luis Loyola, and Tetsuya Miki, “A novel wireless positioning system for seamless internet connectivity based on the WLAN infrastructure,” Wireless Personal Communications, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 295–309, Feb. 2008.

Nikos Deligiannis and Spiros Louvros, “Hybrid TOA–AOA location positioning techniques in GSM networks,” Wireless Personal Communications, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 321–348, July 2010.

V. K. Jain, Shashikala Tapaswi, and Anupam Shukla, “Performance analysis of received signal strength fingerprinting based distributed location estimation system for indoor WLAN,” Wireless Personal Communications, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 113–127, May 2013.

Varun Khaitan, Peerapol Tinnakornsrisuphap, and Mehmet Yavuz, “Indoor positioning using femtocells,” 2011 IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC Fall), San Francisco, CA, USA, 5-8 Sept. 2011, pp. 1-5.

A.H. Sayed, A. Tarighat and N. Khajehnouri, “Network-based wireless location: challenges faced in developing techniques for accurate wireless location information,” IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 24-40, Jun 2005.

K. L. Chee, P. K. Sivaprasad, S. V. Rao, J. G. Lim and R. Tjoa, “Clock drift reduction for relative time slot TDMA-based sensor networks,” 15th IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications, Barcelona, Spain, 5-8 Sept. 2004.

Swen Leugner, Mathias Pelka, and Horst Hellbrück, “Comparison of wired and wireless synchronization with clock drift compensation suited for U-TDoA localization,” 13th Workshop on Positioning, Navigation and Communications (WPNC), Bremen, Germany, 19-20 Oct. 2016, pp. 1-4

Ramon M. Cerda, Understanding Quartz Crystals and Oscillators, Artech House, 2014.

Vincent R. von Kaenel, Eric A. Vittoz, and Daniel Aebischer, “Crystal oscillators,” Springer’s Analog Circuit design, pp. 369-382, 1996.

J. Mendizabal, U. Alvarado, I. Guruceaga, H. Solar, A. Garcia Alonso, and R. Berenguer, “A dual front-end for the new GPS/GALILEO generation in a 0.35μm SiGe process,” Integration, the VLSI Journal, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 321-331, June 2009.

Leo A. Mallette and Joe White, “Space qualified frequency sources (clocks) for current and future GNSS applications,” IEEE Position Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS), Indian Wells, CA, USA, 4-6 May 2010, pp. 903-908.

Heather Graves and Roger Graves, A Strategic Guide to Technical Communication, 2nd Ed., Broadview Press, 2012.

Paulo Verissimo and Luis Rodrigues, “Distributed real-time systems and platforms,” Distributed Systems for System Architects, Springer Advances in Distributed Computing and Middleware, vol. 1, pp 355-368, 2001.

Dan Doberstein, Fundamentals of GPS Receivers: A Hardware Approach, Springer, New York, USA, 2012.

Rainer Mautz and Sebastian Tilch, “Survey of optical indoor positioning systems,” International Conference on Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation (IPIN 2011), Guimaraes, Portugal, 21-23 Sept. 2011, pp. 1-7.

Ann chen Chang and Jhih chung Chang, “Robust mobile location estimation using hybrid TOA/AOA measurements in cellular systems,” Wireless Personal Communications, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 1–13, Jan. 2011.

Nikos Deligiannis and Spiros Louvros, “Hybrid TOA–AOA Location Positioning Techniques in GSM Networks,” Wireless Personal Communications, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 321–348, July 2010.

Gerd Backhaus, “Synchronization in Telecom Networks,” Meinberg Sales Meeting, 2007, available at:

Martin Sauter, From GSM to LTE-Advance: An introduction to mobile networks and mobile broadband, 2nd Ed., Wiley Publication, 2014

Robson T. Reza and Viranjay M. Srivastava, “Effect of GSM frequency band on received signal strength and distance estimation from cell tower,” 10th Int. Conf. on the Developments in e-Systems Engineering, Paris, France, 14-16 June 2017, pp. 1-4.

Robson T. Reza and Viranjay M. Srivastava, “An empirical analysis of a six radio channel pseudo generator for better noise reduction in ranging systems” Far East J. of Electronics and Communications, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 1299-1307, Dec. 2017.

Oluwole, A., Srivastava, V., Determination of Directivity and Gain with Improved Performance of Smart Antenna, (2017) International Journal on Communications Antenna and Propagation (IRECAP), 7 (4), pp. 298-305.

Olusegun O. Omitola and Viranjay M. Srivastava, “An enhanced handover algorithm in LTE-advanced network,” Wireless Personal Communications (WPC), vol. 97, no. 2, pp. 2925-2938, Nov. 2017.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Please send any question about this web site to
Copyright © 2005-2021 Praise Worthy Prize