Cellular Solutions LLC
A  CTF certified company

Bill McGirk, CTF Owner/President
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Information obtained from CDRs will include the cell tower location by cell tower name, its longitudes and latitude, the actual sector on the tower array indicating which direction the call came from within that tower’s area of reception.

It should be noted that although most towers contain 3 sectors they could have as few as two and as many as nine separate sectors to indicate which direction a call was made from.  This is where tracking occurs in the usage of CDRs.  Plotting sector and tower usage will show a movement pattern.  Cell tower data cannot place a person at an exact location.  Also, a call can continue with movement and still be on one tower only.  In rural areas the number of towers may be limited but an experienced cell record Analyst can still determine movement based on just one tower’s CDR’s.

The strongest signal may not always be the closest tower due to obstructions or foliage.  Quite simply the cell phone is programmed to locate and lock on to the strongest signal it can detect. The largest single absorber of cell phone signals is foliage (pine needles are the worst).  Atmospheric conditions will also affect signals but the cell phone will continue to search out the strongest tower available and stay tuned to that tower until it is handed off to a stronger signal.  CDRs will show this “hand-off” and continue the tracking and billing of that call until the connection is either terminated by the user or “dropped” as a lost call for lack of tower signal strength.

Use of This Data

As the use of this data is relatively new and complicated a simple and easy way to present and display the information is required so the layman might understand and absorb the evidence  discovered.  Cellular Solutions LLC does just that with software that is easy to read, understand, and interpret.   A final report comes complete with the actual CDR spreadsheet supplied by the provider, Microsoft Streets and Trips plot map with cell towers used in the CDR’s, and locations of all information to include a track of calls as evidence is provided at the end of the investigation. This report is placed in a Microsoft Power Point  format that can be placed on a CD or  e-mailed to the client. A follow up paper hard copy is also sent by mail for archive records purposes.  A copy of all investigative material is also kept on site with Cellular Solutions for historical and recovery purposes.

The fact is that the use of evidence derived from cell phones and cell phone records will only grow.  Furthermore, as technology and legal landscapes are ever-changing, mastery can only come with practice and current information. Continuing education in Forensic Digital Evidence is a priority with Cellular Solutions LLC.


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