Supl Server Recommendation

If I understand supl servers correctly; they take wifi networks and cell towers near by, send that data to a server and then that server spits out a location.

  1. Do I even need a supl server? Can’t I just disable it and rely on GPS?

  2. What privacy respecting supl servers are out their?

  3. Is my understanding of supl servers correct?

  4. Is there anything else I am not understanding about a supl server?

There are numerous ways for location determination.

  • SUPL is primarily used as an almanac for speeding up the GPS time-to-first-fix, MSB. MSB calculates location locally on device.
  • SUPL does have a mode where it can calculate location on your behalf, MSA. MSA does record what it can see and sends it to the SUPL for location calculation.
  • Android typically also has a Network Location Provider, this is usually Google Play Services and works by sending cell tower and Wi-Fi identifiers to Google for rough location calculation.
  • You can use UnifiedNlp instead of Google and choose other sources such as an offline database or Mozilla.
  • All Qualcomm devices also have IZAT. IZAT is very similar to the Google provider but handled by Qualcomm
  • Android SUPL defaults to Google’s in most cases.
  • But note that your SIM card itself or APN set likely overrides your SUPL.
  • Your carrier can also issue a SUPL emergency override where it can redirect SUPL requests to another server of their choice.
  • The SUPL request by default in Android contains your IMSI. This is to allow carriers access control to their SUPL servers.
  • There do exist other publicly accessible SUPL servers but I cannot recommend you use them.

DivestOS for example removes IZAT, doesn’t included Google apps, disables SUPL MSA, and furthermore prevents sending your IMSI to your SUPL.
DivestOS also has a feature to show a notification when the SUPL has requested your location.

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