It should be possible to receive location updates from the cell towers using the NETWORK_PROVIDER. However, depending on your current location, your device may not be receiving enough information to be able to triangulate a good position. That may be why getLastKnownLocation() is returning an old value. Or, perhaps your Location settings are such that "Use wireless networks" is off? In your code, do you check that the NETWORK_PROVIDER is enabled? "Force" is a strong word
. If you only try using the NETWORK_PROVIDER, you're only using cell towers or wi-fi to determine location. You realize of course that the accuracy of your location is not very good. Also, you need the appropriate permission set to access the NETWORK_PROVIDER (android.permission.ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION).
We devote chapter 17 to maps and location services, with several example applications.
If that's not working, could I take a look at your code somehow?