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Envista Boosts Cellular Forensics Services with Forensics Radio Frequency Surveys for Cell Tower Service Verification

Chicago – 06 July 2020

CHICAGO – July 6, 2020 – Envista Forensics, a global forensics engineering and consulting firm, announces an enhancement to their cell phone forensics services with a form of cell tower verification known as forensics radio frequency surveys or drive testing.

With this unique technology, Envista can further validate and confirm the accuracy or completeness of a call detail record (CDR) analysis, which can be used in both civil and criminal investigation matters.

“Major issues can arise when the automated software analysis of call detail records used in many criminal investigations is not validated,” said Jason Bergerson, Director, Digital Forensics, Envista Forensics. “Sometimes that information can erroneously convict or exonerate an accused.”

The practice of drive testing is performed with precise techniques and specialized hardware and software to collect data on radio frequencies in an area of interest. Forensic experts use this data to determine the coverage area of a cell tower and its sectors. From there, they can create a propagation map, or a coverage map, for a specific tower which can pinpoint and determine if a cell tower could have provided service to a phone under review in an investigation at a particular place.

“When we receive CDR information, we typically only get the tower and sector a phone was connected to at a particular time,” said Bergerson. “But through data gathered from a drive test, we can now see the areas of the tower that are stronger than others or tower hot spots where coverage may bleed into another tower, essentially allowing someone to connect to one farther away. We can better understand areas without coverage and see if there are landscape concerns that may throw off the data such as bodies of water or wooded areas.”

Cell phone examiners can determine in much greater detail the accuracy of the data presented in a criminal investigation, which can be invaluable if it does not coincide with the mapping presented from the original call detail records.

“A major flaw in many investigations is that cell phone mapping tools are available to many and can expedite the process. I call it the easy button. But, just because an agency can produce a map, and show it to a jury, does not mean they were properly trained to read or analyze it,” said long-time industry veteran Larry Daniel, Senior Principal Consultant, Envista Forensics. “I’ve seen cases overturned because of an improper analysis.”

About Envista Forensics

Envista Forensics is a global leader in forensic engineering and recovery solutions. They provide failure analysis, fire and explosion investigations, cyber security and digital forensics, accident reconstruction, building and construction consulting, geotechnical engineering, damage evaluations and equipment restoration following disasters of all kinds.

Envista has served the insurance, legal and risk management industries for more than 30 years. Their experts travel globally to more than 30 offices located across North America, Latin America, the U.K., Europe, Singapore and Australia. 

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