Mobile Location Protocol


Mobile Location Protocol (MLP) is a technology standard used in identifying the geographic location of a mobile device. Developed by the Open Mobile Alliance, it uses data from mobile communication networks and global positioning systems to determine a device’s position. MLP typically helps in enabling services like emergency services, location-based advertising, and online games.


Mobile Location Protocol is pronounced as – /ˈmoʊbəl loʊˈkeɪʃən ˈproʊtəˌkɔl/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Convenience and Accessibility: Mobile Location Protocol (MLP) enables applications to obtain the geographical location information of mobile devices. This allows for individualized services, like localized weather reports and targeted advertisements, enhancing the user experience.
  2. Privacy Concerns: MLP’s ability to precisely locate a device also raises significant privacy issues. Users must be aware that their location data could potentially be accessed by third parties, and careful to grant permissions wisely.
  3. Versatility and Integration: MLP can be used in a wide array of applications. Aside from targeted services and advertising, it is useful for emergency services, finding nearby businesses, and even tracking lost devices. The protocol can also be integrated with various systems and technologies to augment their functionalities.


Mobile Location Protocol (MLP) is a crucial technology term for various reasons. It pertains to a standard used in telecommunication networks to obtain the geographical location data of mobile devices. The importance lies in its functionality in several applications such as emergency services, tracking systems, and mobile location-based services which have become integral in today’s interconnected society. MLP enables these systems to locate a device promptly and accurately, thus enhancing their efficiency and reliability. The use of this technology often aids in protecting user safety, enhances business strategies, and enriches the overall user experience, marking its significance in the world of technology.


The Mobile Location Protocol (MLP) is essentially a technical standard that is key to the functioning of location-based services on smartphones and other mobile devices. Its primary purpose is to deliver geographic location data from a mobile network to third-party applications that require this information. The protocol is used extensively by telecommunication companies, app developers, and service providers to deliver accurate and efficient location based services to users.The applications of MLP are diverse, spanning across various sectors. The protocol plays a significant role in the functioning of emergency services—like 911 calls—where it is essential to be able to identify and communicate the location of the person in distress. In addition to this, day-to-day applications such as ride-sharing apps, food delivery services, and navigation apps that people commonly use on their mobile devices all utilize MLP. The protocol facilitates real-time tracking and updating of geographical positions, which is critical to ensuring these services function accurately and efficiently.


1. GPS Navigation Apps: Mobile location protocol is used in global positioning system applications like Google Maps, Waze, and Apple Maps. By accessing the GPS position of the user’s device, these apps can determine the user’s current location, provide real-time navigation, and suggest the best routes to reach their destination.2. Location-Based Advertising: Businesses often use mobile location protocol in their advertising campaigns. They can target ads to mobile users based on their physical location. For instance, a restaurant might send special offers to customers who are within a specific radius of their establishment.3. Emergency Services: When a user calls an emergency service such as 911, mobile location protocol can be used to pinpoint the caller’s exact location. This helps to ensure that critical help can be dispatched quickly and accurately. This is especially vital in situations where the user may be lost or unable to provide their location.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q: What is the Mobile Location Protocol (MLP)?**A: MLP, or Mobile Location Protocol, is a protocol used in telecommunications to obtain geographical position data of mobile stations for location-based services.**Q: How does Mobile Location Protocol Work?**A: MLP works by communicating between a client and a gateway mobile location center (GMLC). The client sends a request to the GMLC, and in response, the GMLC provides the geographical position of the mobile device.**Q: What kind of data can MLP provide?**A: MLP can provide data about the position of a mobile station. This typically includes latitude, longitude, and may include altitude, direction, and speed.**Q: Is location tracking with MLP always accurate?**A: While MLP can provide fairly precise location data, factors such as the signal strength, number of available satellites for GPS, and local environment can affect accuracy.**Q: Does the use of MLP infringe on privacy rights?**A: The use of MLP requires user consent due to privacy concerns. Service providers need to put protocols in place to ensure this data is only used with the subscriber’s permission.**Q: How is MLP used in real-world applications?**A: MLP is used in various applications such as tracking lost or stolen devices, providing location-based advertising, navigation for mobile users, emergency services, and much more.**Q: Is MLP the only way to track the location of a mobile device?**A: No, MLP is just one of several technologies used to determine the location of mobile devices. Others include GPS, WiFi positioning, and various cellular network technologies. **Q: What type of systems can use MLP?**A: MLP is not restricted to a specific type of system. It can be used on any mobile device that has the capability for telecommunications like cell phones, tablets, and more.

Related Tech Terms

  • Geolocation
  • Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Location-based Services
  • Cell Identifier (Cell ID)
  • Assisted GPS (A-GPS)

Sources for More Information


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