A system and method for locating a portable locator device in a communications network. The portable locator unit (PLU) (4) is activated either by an external signal (62) generated in response to remote activation source, such as a subscriber (6, 8) or PLU detector (106, 108), or by an internal activation signal triggered e.g. by the wearer. Once activated, the PLU (4) transmits a location signal (66). This location signal (66) is received by one or more network service nodes (20, 22, 24) which forward the information along with identifying service node information to a network location processor (26, 28). After having determined the location of the PLU (4) from the received information, the network location processor (26, 28) forwards this information to a designated source, such as the requesting subscriber or other authorized user (6, 8).