Single cell tower cannot reliably locate an individual

A single cell phone tower is inadequate for placing suspects near crime scenes, according to this American Judicature Society article. The authors point out that the FCC understands the technology and requires at least 3 cell towers or GPS satellites to calculate a cell phone’s coordinates for 911 emergency purposes.

The authors call the method of using only one cell phone tower – as has been done at many criminal trials – inferior, noting one tower alone could only establish the caller was within a 25-mile radius of the cell tower, or worse in some situations.