Location estimation with Boron LTE connection

So I have a Particle Boron LTE and I need to get its location. I first thought of using an Adafruit GPS, but then I thought of maybe using the LTE connection.
Is there a way (maybe through an web app, or something similar) that the Boron could be connected to multiple towers and from there estimate its location? Could you point me in a direction that would allow me to do this?

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The Boron LTE can only connect to a single tower, and can't scan for other towers, so you can't triangulate. You can get the cell ID and LAC for the connected tower, so you can use that plus an external service like Google Geolocation to get coordinates, but only based on the location of a single tower.

Thanks for responding.
How does getting location work for a single tower, because if I understand this correctly, that could only provide a specific radius from the given tower. So how would this give a Longitude and Latitude like a GPS? And also how does Geolocation work with the Boron LTE? Would I need to access the web app via the Boron's LTE connection?

@joe_boron ,

There is a Geolocation service from Google that will give you the GPS coordinates of the cell phone tower itself and a radius around it. As @rickkas7 points out, this is as good as you can do with the Boron.

I have my devices get their Google geo location once a day. I use it to get a general sense like - what park is this device in today. It has come in handy a few times when I was sending devices to parks across the state and some were mis-delivered.


Oh, but if I wanted to get around the accuracy of GPS, I wouldn't be able to do that with just LTE alone?

@joe_boron ,

Not with the Boron because, unlike your cell phone, it will only connect to one tower at a time and therefore cannot use the triangulation capability of this service.

That said, GPS modules are getting quite cheap and cheerful.


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You can use the cell information and cross reference it with cell towers, we use this for our internal fleet tool that manages our devices:

It only gives a estimated location, but for our use-case it is enough.

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Thanks for the info. But unfortunately, I need an almost exact range (error of up to a few meters), so it seems like I can only use a GPS.

Hi all, just jumping into this thread and am trying to accomplish the same objective as the OP... use a Boron to determine location within a few meters. I've been using the cellularhelper library to try to pull this data and haven't been able to. Can someone explain why this library exists and what it could be used for?

If the purpose of cellularhelper & CellularHelper.getLocation() is to connect to multiple towers & confirm location, and a Boron can't do that, then what device should it run on?

You will never get a few meter accuracy using cellular triangulation.

None of the current LTE Cat M1 or LTE Cat 1 modems return multiple towers for triangulation; they only return the serving cell. The circle of uncertainty with the Boron LTE may be as large as 3000 meters because of this.

The M-SoM module has a built-in GNSS, as well as providing cellular and Wi-Fi geolocation and it will likely provide pretty good results for items that are not moving.

For moving items, dedicated GNSS units with dead reckoning like the Tracker will produce the best results. It also combines cellular and Wi-Fi geolocation.