The advantage of network-based techniques, from a service provider's point of view, is that they can be implemented non-intrusively without affecting handsets.Network-based techniques were developed many years prior to the widespread availability of GPS on handsets.
Rural and desolate areas may see miles between base stations and therefore determine locations less precisely.
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(See ) The accuracy of network-based techniques varies, with cell identification as the least accurate and triangulation as moderately accurate, and newer "advanced forward link trilateration" timing methods as the most accurate.
The accuracy of network-based techniques is both dependent on the concentration of cell base stations, with urban environments achieving the highest possible accuracy because of the higher number of cell towers, and the implementation of the most current timing methods.