Name: HINTON Locator

Text: HINTON Locator
Integration Fundamentals
Application Note
Key Points
• HINTON Locator is a passive monitoring
probe extracting data from the network
• Allows network based location services for
all subscriber and handset types, even the
most basic low cost handsets

This application note describes how the
HINTON Locator may be integrated into
an overall location-based services system
based around a 2G GSM or 3G UMTS

The HINTON provides the ability to passively monitor a cellular radio access network, and related
interfaces, of cellular telecommunications networks gathering data relating to subscriber location.
Combined with geolocation software this allows the calculation of subscriber locations using a
variety of techniques.

• Data from Telesoft API provides information
to 3rd party Geoloation process.

The diagram below shows the components of a full location-based services (LBS) system,
incorporating the HINTON Locator, for access to network data relating to subscriber location, along
with the flow of information through this system. The full system consists of four major parts:

• Provided information can include:
- Cell ID, timing advance from serving cell
- Received signal strength from cells
- Location area information
- Roaming information etc

1) The monitored network - The design of this network and its radio planning provide the basic
constraints on the potential accuracy of the system, and the distribution/dimensioning of the
probe system deployed for monitoring.

• Geolocation process provides X/Y location
to supported applications

2) The HINTON Locator - Provides monitoring of interfaces in the monitored network, through
protected tap points. This data is filtered against subscriber identities and network events to
provide reporting of necessary data to the Geolocation process through a TCP/IP based API.

• Applications include services such as:
- mobile advertising,
- E911 emergency location,
- ‘where am I?’ (find yourself)
- ‘where is?’ (find something/someone)

Typical Interfaces Monitored

3) The Geolocation process - This process correlates data provided by one or more HINTON
Locator probes and uses this to calculate the location of subscribers for use by the top
level application. There are a variety of available algorithms and methods available for this
process, which determines the accuracy which can be established from the available network
4) Supported application - This application provides the required functionality to the system user,
a wide variety of location based service applications are available covering value added services,
network management and homeland security requirements amongst others.

• Abis Interface
• A Interface
• IuB Interface
• IuCS Interface
• C/D Interface
• International Links

Supported Applications
Subscriber Location
Geolocation Process
Telesoft API
HINTON Locator
Monitored Interfaces

Monitored Network

HINTON Locator
Integration Fundamentals
Application Note
Passive or Active monitoring?

Where to Monitor?
The HINTON Locator monitors a number of network interfaces

The HINTON Locator provides a mechanism for extracting location

depending on the network type and accuracy needed. The typical

information on subscribers from the mobile network without the need

interfaces monitored for different information are shown in the

for direct interaction with network elements (such as the BSC through

diagram below:

an SMLC), this has a number of advantages over the typically used active

• Abis interface - for detailed location parameters in a 2/2.5G

solution including:

network, and correlation of IMSI-TMS-IMEI-LAC identities (and in

• Mass monitoring - active solutions are typically limited to a very small

some cases MSISDN from SMS messages).

number of subscribers by the available processing resource of network

• A interface - provides serving cell identity.

elements (NEs), while an independent probe can monitor up to 100% of

• IuB interface - equivalent to the Abis interface in a 3G UMTS

• Vendor agnostic - a passive probe can provide a common delivery of

• IuCS interface - equivalent to the A-Interface in a 3G UMTS

information regardless of the manufacturer of network equipment.
• No Lb interface dependence - a passive probe does not require a

• C and D interfaces - provides mapping of IMSI and MSISDN

identities where needed.

dedicated location interface to the NEs, these are not always available,
and even when present the probe removes the need for potentially
expensive feature licenses on network equipment.

• International links from the MSC and HLR - gives information

about inbound and outbound roaming subscribers.

• Multiple application support - a passive probe can deliver information to

multiple applications concurrently, allowing a common access platform
for VAS, OSS and security applications.
• No network impact - the use of passive

technology removes the potential for a


location application to affect operational


network performance by overloading or


incorrectly accessing network elements.










Telesoft Technologies Ltd
Observatory House
Blandford Dorset

Telesoft Technologies Inc
Suite 601
4340 Georgetown Square
Atlanta GA 30338 USA

Telesoft Technologies Ltd
Building FC-24 Sector 16A
Noida 201301
Uttar Pradesh India

T. +44 (0)1258 480880
F. +44 (0)1258 486598

T. +1 770 454 6001
F. +1 770 452 0130

T. +91 120 466 0300
F. +91 120 466 0301


Telesoft Technologies, the Telesoft Technologies logo
design and HINTON are trademarks or registered
trademarks of Telesoft Technologies Ltd or its subsidiaries.
All other brand and product names may be trademarks of
their respective companies. Copyright ©2009 by Telesoft
Technologies Ltd. All rights reserved.

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