Ubuntu Phone is not getting a mobile network cell triangulation position

Bug #1500039 reported by costales on 2015-09-26
This bug affects 47 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Canonical System Image
John McAleely
location-service (Ubuntu)
Thomas Voß

Bug Description


I think that the mobile network cell triangulation position is not working in Ubuntu Phone OS.

The position should be really fast (~1 - 5") and I'm thinking that Ubuntu Phone is waiting for a real GPS position every time.

A good test could be this:
- Go to a room, way out of a sky to avoid a real GPS signal.
- Set WiFi service OFF.
- Set GPS service ON.
- Set data connection ON.
- Go to this website via webbrowser-app: http://leafletjs.com/examples/mobile-example.html The website will ask you to allow access to the current location.
- Make sure to not have a GPS position cached.

In a PC or *any* Android you'll see your position immediately.
Bug: In Ubuntu Phone an error will appears. This error is because the geoposition (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Geolocation/Using_geolocation) is not working with the cell triangulation network data.

You can try a lot of apps like Google Maps, OSMTouch, HERE map, uNAV... and a fast position from data connection is not happening, unless you be with a WIFI connection.
If you try Google Maps in Android, the position will be really fast just with data connection.

Thanks in advance!

Related branches

costales (costales) wrote :
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in location-service (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Pat McGowan (pat-mcgowan) wrote :

This seems to have regressed recently
This works for me on krillin with stable, and does not on arale with rc-proposed v123

Changed in canonical-devices-system-image:
assignee: nobody → John McAleely (john.mcaleely)
importance: Undecided → Critical
milestone: none → ww46-2015
status: New → Confirmed

My device is MX4, Ubuntu version 15.04 (r4) OTA6, updated to 27/8/15.
@Pat: If you used the GPS in you krillin, the position could be cached and
you'll get a position.
Best regards.

Jean-Baptiste Lallement (jibel) wrote :

On krillin rc-proposed 135, I confirm the error if I go the the website in the description, with location detection using cell-data only. However in HERE I get a fix quickly but very inaccurate (20km away from my actual location, in the middle of the sea)

Changed in location-service (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Jim Hodapp (jhodapp)
importance: Undecided → Critical
Jim Hodapp (jhodapp) on 2015-09-29
description: updated
description: updated
tags: added: location
Thomas Voß (thomas-voss) wrote :

Please note that Ubuntu is only relying on the currently connected cell to determine an estimate of the position. That estimate is quite unreliable unfortunately, and it might very well be the that estimated values are discarded internally for that very reason.

I will follow up with a confirmation of this hypothesis.

Please also note that applications (on purpose) have no say in whether they receive a network- or satellite-based position. They specify a required accuracy and the infrastructure satisfies the request if possible.

Changed in canonical-devices-system-image:
importance: Critical → High
Changed in location-service (Ubuntu):
importance: Critical → High

Hi :) I think because of my tests that is not working at all. If you
compare with another OS it just a few seconds to get a 'good' location, in
UT I think it is only getting a slow cached GPS position.
A hug :)

Enviado con Dekko desde mi dispositivo Ubuntu

Sergi Quiles Pérez (sergiqp) wrote :

I have experienced this issue:

If I have my bq Aquaris Ubuntu Edition connected only to a 3g network it lasts a lot to obtain GPS positions. But if I connect via hotspot an Android phone to my bq with Ubuntu Touch the Android one gets GPS positions instantly. So I thing Ubuntu Touch has this bug.

Changed in location-service (Ubuntu):
assignee: Jim Hodapp (jhodapp) → nobody
Changed in canonical-devices-system-image:
milestone: ww46-2015 → ww02-2016
Richard Somlói (ricsipontaz) wrote :

I also experience this bug.

Pat McGowan (pat-mcgowan) wrote :

@thomas anything we can do here?

Changed in location-service (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Thomas Voß (thomas-voss)
Thomas Voß (thomas-voss) wrote :

We are only relying on the currently connected to radio-cell to estimate a position and it can take up to 20 seconds until a first position estimate from the network is obtained. The likely difference with android for example is that we do not hand information about neighboring radio cells to the network-based positioning provider.

Also note that applications have no way of forcing the system to use this information (on purpose). The location infrastructure will make sure that all required providers to achieve a fast and accurate fix are powered on whenever an application requests position updates.

I will come up with actual measurements of the time it takes to obtain a position estimate after updates have been enabled.

Changed in canonical-devices-system-image:
milestone: ww02-2016 → ww08-2016

Any update on this?

Changed in canonical-devices-system-image:
milestone: ww08-2016 → 11
Changed in canonical-devices-system-image:
milestone: 11 → 12
Jason Robinson (jaywink) wrote :

Confirmed on on Bq E4.5 on rc-proposed (r741) the following:

Wifi ON, mobile data ON - network based location does NOT work.
Wifi ON, mobile data OFF - network based location works.
Wifi OFF, mobile data ON - network based location does NOT work.

And there is nothing wrong with my mobile data.

The network based location used to work until some time ago, so this is definitely a regression. I couldn't find a more appropriate bug for this so adding to this one.

Andrea Bernabei (faenil) wrote :

same here, I've been trying to get it working on Krillin for quite some time, but it never worked reliably when wifi is OFF :(

I confirm it doesn't seem to be working for me on r340, Krillin (E4.5)

Changed in location-service (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Changed in canonical-devices-system-image:
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Changed in canonical-devices-system-image:
milestone: 12 → 13
flohack (flori-bin) wrote :

Plus is there any chance that this bug also affects GPS liason? I am not able anymore to use any GPS app on my BQ5, this started some time after the last OTA.


flohack (flori-bin) wrote :

I found a new symptom: Got an error message telling me:

Geolocation error: only secure origins are allowed (see: https://goo.gl/Y0ZkNV).. Is that the reason why no geolocation works anymore in the browser?


tardieu (j-bessonnat) wrote :

What is the road map for this bugfix? Geo localisation is one of the main feature of a smartphone! It makes Ubuntu phone quite useless... :-)

Changed in canonical-devices-system-image:
milestone: 13 → backlog
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