One of the highlights of my.plan is its location services. Thanks to connectivity data from mobile masts and application tracking, you can stay connected with your team or remote workforce from almost anywhere in the UK and abroad.
The level of detail and insight is linked with the my.plan package the mobile user is on, and certain technical factors that impact how location is being shared.
This is an overview of my.plan location services, the technical information that sits behind them and the frequency of location updates.
A device’s location is calculated by gathering information from the cell towers connecting it with mobile data*, and via application tracking for devices with the my.plan app installed (currently only available on Apple iOS devices) and location sharing* activated.
If we are unable to calculate its precise location because of limited cell tower information or app tracking, its coordinates are based on the last data provided by the device combined with any additional information from plan.com users connected to the cell tower.
If no cell tower connectivity or app activity is reported, the device will be shown in the middle of the country in which it is located.
*Restrictions apply, which are outlined in this document
There are a variety of scenarios and settings that can affect how a service’s location is determined and how often it is updated. We obtain location data from a variety of sources and these are listed in detail, below.
However, to get the most from my.plan location services, a service should follow the mobile application activation steps below:
In an effort to protect user privacy and limit data- sharing, Apple has made some significant changes to the process that apps need to follow when requesting data from a user’s device. These changes are intended to give users more insight and control into how apps use that data. The changes made by Apple impact the way that apps like my.plan collect, share and use location data.
Once they have installed and opened the my.plan app, users are asked if they want to share their location data:
For location services to be updated to the most accurate level (such as Platinum level access), plan.com customers using an Apple device will need to choose “Always” and ensure the app is open, even if it’s open in the background.
If they do not do this, then the accuracy will default to the next level of detail, a polygon of predicted location based on historical, aggregated and anonymous locations of users who have previously connected to the same cellular towers.
This method is based on an anonymous dataset of known locations from services that have been connected to a specific cellular tower. Further information on this is available in point 2 of the section below.
We obtain location data from a variety of sources. These sources are listed in order of priority and accuracy:
This method is more likely to provide accurate location information. However, there are a few caveats to remember:
a. The plan mobile application must be installed on the device.
b. The device must be connected to the plan.com APN.
c. The device user must allow the application permission to share location data:
iOS devices: The first time the application is loaded you will be asked to share the location “While in Use”. After the application has been running in the background for some time, you will be asked if you want to share background updates with the application.
While in Use means that location data is only shared when the my.plan application is open on screen. If the user moves the application to the background, locks their device, or closes the app then we will not receive any further location updates.
Always means that location is shared when the my.plan app is open on screen, in the background or the phone is locked. If the user closes the app then we will not receive any further location updates.
Android Devices: our mobile app is not currently available in the Google Play Store due to a change in the way location permissions work in the newest version of Android. We are updating the app and hope to have it available in the near future for these users.
Please note: Regardless of the type of device or individual settings, the user is in complete control over whether we have access to their location, and they can change this at any time.
This method is the second most accurate and is based on amassing a dataset of known locations from services that have been connected to a specific cellular tower.
Regardless of the package level (Essential, Gold, Platinum), we collect data at the highest resolution possible for each service in accordance with the hierarchy listed above. Therefore, if you upgrade to Platinum, location data will be available.
We use the my.plan Package levels to determine the accuracy of the location that we display to the user in the my.plan map interface as described below:
4. For services connected to the APN and using mobile data.
5. For services not connected to the APN
Visit www.plan.com/apn-settings for details on how to install the plan.com APN for Apple and Android users.