Cellular Security Overview

Android provides several features to keep cellular communications secure and private. These are important because cellular protocols and implementations present some unique security and privacy risks when compared to other network types.

  1. While many internet-based applications implement their own encryption for communication, voice calls and SMS messages rely on the cellular link layer encryption for over-the-air privacy.
  2. Cellular networks implement mobility features like handover and roaming. While crucial to the smooth operation of cellular networks, these features expose users to location privacy compromises.

Caution: Privacy and security in the context of this document reference the connection between a device and a base station (cell tower). Cellular protocols don't provide end-to-end encryption. Any traditional voice calls or SMS messages, even when encrypted over the air, are available to home carriers unencrypted.

Relevant Blogs

For more information, see Android 14 introduces first-of-its-kind cellular connectivity security features