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English>>China Society

Cell phones pinpoint locations

By Cheng Yingqi (China Daily)

08:25, November 07, 2012

China successfully launches its 16th satellite for the Beidou system, a global navigation and positioning network, into space on Oct 25 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China's Sichuan province. Liu Chan / Xinhua

In November 1993, student Jennifer Koon was kidnapped and killed in New York state in the United States.

Before her death, the 18-year-old college sophomore and daughter of a New York state assemblyman managed to call 911, but police could not determine her position from the cell phone signal.

Three years later, the public safety network Location-based Services was established, allowing authorities to locate users through radio signals.

Now, in China, nearly two decades later, such services are not far away.

"LBS is nothing new. The reason we could not develop an LBS in China until now is that the Internet on mobiles only became popular in the past few years," said Shi Chuang, a professor at Wuhan University and director of the National Engineering Research Center for Satellite Positioning System.

"With LBS, we can integrate information on people ... and things, so that we can dig out business value," he said.

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