Experts in Cell Site Analysis
What is Cell Site Analysis?
Cell Site Analysis is the term used to describe the review and analysis of mobile telephone records (also known as Call Data Records, Call Detail Records, or CDRs) in order to determine where a mobile phone could have been located when calls or short messages occurred.
In experienced hands Cell Site Analysis can be used to show movement from one area to another, or support other evidence available to an investigation, for example, to prove or disprove a given scenario or alibi. When utilized optimally, Cell Site Analysis can be incredibly valuable and have a powerful impact.
In the wrong hands, assumptions can be made, records misinterpreted, and important issues overlooked, that result in inaccurate and misleading conclusions being drawn. In the worst examples significant mistakes with the handling and interpretation of the data has meant that evidence has had to be “thrown out”' of the Courts and “bad faith” situations could occur, resulting in costly litigation and extremely unfavorable and costly settlements.
Since a mobile phone and SIM card are exactly that, mobile, even if a named subscriber is recorded by the network as being the owner of the account, this does not necessarily mean that they were the user of the equipment at a particular date and time. Detailed analysis of the call data records over an extended period of time, however, can help to establish who could have been the user of the handset or SIM at a particular time.
The analysis of mobile telephone records is typically addressed in two stages:
1) A paper based study of the call data records to ascertain the general areas involved and establish “normal calling patterns” (i.e. the subscribers normal usage/movement pattern),
2) To perform radio measurement surveys in the areas of interest to ascertain the extent of the locations from which the calls could have been made, when necessary.
The use of a cellular phone generates a trail of electronic evidence. Who was called? Who called back? What time did the call start and end? Which cell towers were used to process these calls? Which side of the tower processed these calls? Where are these towers located?
Details of each call a cell phone makes are retained for a prescribed length of time by the cellular provider. These are the CDR’s and they contain a wealth of information if you know how to request them, read them, and interpret them.