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Steps to Acquiring Location Based Tracking Services

Until just a few months ago it used to cost a lot to acquire a GPS (Global Positioning System.) Now all you have to do is buy a cell phone with a GPS navigational component in it.

In a nutshell, a GPS system is a radio navigations system and not only can it detect location it can also detect wind velocity and the time. The GPS has been used for years to help the drivers of cars navigate their way to a certain place but now cell phone service providers offer packages for tracking someone with a GPS enabled phone. The actual GPS technology is located in the handset of the cell phone and you must hire a service that tracks mobile location in order for it to work. As of December 31,2005, the FCC mandated that all cell phones must be able to be traced with or without the owner's permission.

If you wish to enable GPS location based tracking services on your phone here are some steps to doing it.

Step 1: Purchase a GPS enabled phone and subscribe to any of the major carriers like Telus, Bell, Alltel, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T or Virgin and ask to be enrolled in their GPS data plan.

Step 2: Register your phone with an LBS over the phone with a call center or over the internet. This service will allow you to track the cell phone in question. Plans and information availability vary among Location Based services. Popular plans are Sprint's Mobile Locator, Mapquest Find ME and Accutracking. This is just software that is added to your computer or cellphone to make it easier to locate the position and location of the holder of the phone. In some instances the location tracking service can only be accessed with the cell phone owner's permission and in others it is not.

This is why it can be such a good idea to buy a wayward or wild teenager a cell phone. You can enable it with location based tracking services so you are always aware of the child's whereabouts. Furthermore quite a few LBS services will send a parent an email if a teenager is exceeding speed limit or venturing outside of an agreed location.

This type of feature also works well when monitoring the behavior of alcoholics and manic depressives or if you are trying to determine if you have a cheating spouse. If you give your family member the phone under your name and enable it with location based tracking services then you can receive emails when a car is used or the person travels outside of the destination of where he or she claimed to be.

Costs for these types of services vary greatly from provider to cell phone provider or carrier. Be aware that the costs for these types of services really does vary and you might be better off to use a free service or cheap service that gives a GPS enabled phone location information as well as other data such as weather, local traffic and check-in "points of interest."