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How does mobile push technology work?

cpursley asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2007-02-12
How does push technology work; for example, how does the BES push data to the mobile device? Also, how does data get pushed to the BlackBerry phones? On the iDEN network, the IP for the device can be used - but how is this resolved when most mobiles have dynamic IPs?
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Press2EscSystems Integrator

Cellphone use a "virtual persistent" circuit. That is once you phone is turned on, the tower/cell co queries you phone for connectivity every few .  Regardless of the technology (e.g., TDMS, CDMA, PCS, AMPS, GPRS, etc), you are always "online".  Ranging from a few micoseconds or tens of milliseconds, your cell information (e.g, id/imie, location, etc) is tranmitted over a control channel (vs voice channel).

The specifics of how push data works is solely depending upon the cell providers frequency and transmission protocol (e.g., TDMA, PCS, CDMA, DCS, GSM, AMPS, etc)... Examples, of "push" technology in cellular is SMS, new Voicemail msgs, etc.

Press2EscSystems Integrator


Cellphone use a "virtual persistent" circuit. That is once you phone is turned on, the tower/cell co queries you phone for connectivity every few microseconds (uSec) to tens of milliseconds (mSecs), depending on the transmission scheme.


GPRS and CDMA is what I'm primarily looking at. When a cell checks in, what does it report in that can allow a server to find it? How is the mapping done between the server pushing the content and the handset? For the devices with dynamically assigned IPs, how does the server know where to send the data? Does it use the unique mobile ID that gets mapped to an IP by the carrier? etc.

If the cell had a static IP, it would be easy. But since it is dynamic (for most phones), how do I send data to it without knowing that IP address? There has got to be a way these companies who offer push email software are doing it.
Press2EscSystems Integrator

The servers you are referring to asking questions about are owned and operated by the cell providers.  For obvious reasons, you would have access to them and data is likely for internal consumption only.  In any case, the primary control switch where the cell tower ultimately connects to is quite complex in that it must route the call accordingly to its "protocol".  For example, when you calling another cell phone provided by the same carrier, the call can ride on the carriers backbone (most likely leased), else the cellular call is switched to POTS backbone to call/recieve a landline call.  For an "ÏP" (data) call, the packet is switch to the carriers nearest internet POP.

What are you trying to do?  It maybe easier to get your specific Q's answered if you are trying to learn or have a specific objective...  You are asking specific Qs in very general terms...


I would like to know how to send data to a socket on the phone. This can be done on networks that keep a static IP for the phone, but not for others. So, what is the procedure a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (for example) uses to push data to a specific phone? Does it take the data, wrap it up with a tag of the users phone ID, send it to the WAP gateway hosted by the carrier, and (since the gateway is maintained by the carrier) directed to the correct phone which then converts the radio signal to data?
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