Does GPS Use Data on a Cellphone?


Quick Answer

GPS itself does not use cell phone data, but GPS apps may use data to obtain and display other information. The GPS coordinates come from a third-party GPS satellite, but maps and other data provided by the app are downloaded via the carrier's network or Wi-Fi.

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Full Answer

For older phones that do not have GPS chips, coordinates can be determined less precisely by triangulating Wi-Fi signals or the position of the phone relative to the carrier's towers. Determining the phone's location through the carrier's towers may use a small amount of data. Most new phones contain GPS chips, eliminating the possibility of data use.

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