Location Technologies: Is it hard to pinpoint mobile user location?

Jun 21, 2017 · 2 min read
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Everyone with a mobile phone is constantly on the move so pinpointing their exact location can be tricky for advertisers. Today, with various location based technologies, finding their exact location is not too difficult. Since most mobile users are either on 4G or Wi-Fi, extracting and using data from these networks is a good start. For example, Wi-Fi signal distance is typically within tens of metres. The association of a user to a Wi-Fi access point can therefore give away the user’s location quite accurately. Such accuracy improves when the network calculates user device and receive signal strengths that can be measured across multiple Wi-Fi Access Points to create position triangulation. This method of pinpointing location is most effective as it doesn’t require users to perform any special function such as downloading a specific app.

While user IP addresses on a 4G network maybe harder to extract explicitly the exact location of the users due to the larger areas macro mobile network typically covers, they can still be tracked. For example, you can factor in the temporal reference data such as time last seen with GPS and apply heuristic extrapolation to predict an approximate location of the user. Therefore as long as the user has recently used a mobile app that reveals its GPS coordinates, and working with a good location Data Management Platform (DMP), the user’s location can be extracted and calculated in near-real-time manner. Such data can be further enriched with macro network data such as cell tower ID and signal strength triangulations cooperating with local telecom service providers.

Advertisers should take advantage of these methods to locate where their potential customers are and send relevant ad content their way to engage with greater impact.

Want to learn more? Speak to us about location technologies. Visit us atwww.kakku.com


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