Geolocating IP Addresses in Cellular Data Networks

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Triukose, Sipat; Ardon, Sebastien; Mahanti, Anirban; Seth, Aaditeshwar


Conference Material

Passive and Active Measurement conference (PAM)

Vienna, Austria


Estimating the geographical position of Internet hosts from their IP addresses has been an interesting problem, with both commer- cial and academic applications. While many studies have focused on the IP geolocation problem in general, very few have studied the problem in the case of IP hosts connected to cellular data networks. By instrument- ing a popular location-based service smartphone application, we were allowed to obtain a sizeable dataset of handsets locations and IP ad- dress mapping. This dataset constitute a ground truth of IP to geoloca- tion mappings, and is unprecedented at this size. To our knowledge, this study is the first large-scale investigation on the IP geolocation problem in mobile space. This paper makes the following contributions: We provide an original dataset based on session information from a popular location-based ser- vice iPhone application, spanning a large number of mobile operators networks worldwide. Using this dataset, we then provide insights into the global deployments of cellular data network, from the client/server prospective and at the IP level: how often NAT and other middleboxes are used, what is the geographical coverage of cellular gateways and other previously understudied aspects. Then, we evaluate the error of geolo- cation databases when considering the position of clients connected to Cellular Data Networks. In our dataset, we find that the average error is reasonably small (in hundred of kilometers), but include errors at the scale of inter-country and, in some cases, inter-continental.

ip geolocation, cellular data networks, middleboxes, measurement


Triukose, Sipat; Ardon, Sebastien; Mahanti, Anirban; Seth, Aaditeshwar. Geolocating IP Addresses in Cellular Data Networks.[Conference Material]. 2012-03-14. <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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