Why Would Location Services Suddenly Stop Working?
July 18, 2019 11:16 AM   Subscribe

AT&T recently made some changes to their network -- in prep for 5G they claim -- that borked some of my customer's cell boosters. Did their fix also bork their location services?

AT&T (and Verizon) started making changes to their network recently which have caused my small ISP company headaches. They made some changes that have made their own microcell boosters stop working. Naturally customers blame us! So we had to take the customer off carrier grade NAT (yeah, more precious IPs to use!) and opened ports (123, 443, 4500, 500) that AT&T suggested.

The good news is that the customer's cellular calls via their booster work again. The bad? Since the change the customer's location services do not work when they are connected to their wifi.

Coincidence or are we missing something?
posted by terrapin to Computers & Internet (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Depends on what you mean by "not working". If you mean slow/unreliable/inaccurate, then I'd guess that the IP and cell network changes have invalidated whole chunks of location data databases, and you're probably going to need to wait for the cached data to be purged/replaced.

My theory is that when connected to wifi, it's starting with a lookup of their public IP, which is returning no data, or inaccurate data. The next fallback may be connected/nearby cell towers, which if your microcells or the surrounding cell towers also changed, could also be returning bad data. Eventually, the databases will catch up to reality, and things will start working again.

You might try performing a geolookup on the customer's old and new public IP addresses, and see if you're getting anything interesting. There's several different services, and my understanding is that different apps/devices may use different ones, so I'm not sure which one(s) you should focus on. Some of them seem to allow the ISP to provide them with information about the location that IP is assigned to, so there may be something you can do from that end.

It's also possible that I'm way over my head in this, and have just told you things you already know.
posted by yuwtze at 3:30 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]

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