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How does a GSM phone display location name ?

Posted on 2009-04-05
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The Nokia phones in India which work on GSM display the name of the locality in which the user is currently. For eg Andheri, Juhu etc.

How does the phone know about the locality, I know it continually receives the cell Id of the base station it is camped too, however I doubt that the phone has some cell Id to location look up table. It seems to me that the base station itself is transmitting that information. Let me know if the above is correct, if it is the please can you answer the following questions

a) This transmission of the area name by the base station a standard's thing or something specific to India?
b) Will the platform expose a API for any application developer to query the location name?
c) Other phones on the same network (Blackberry) does not display this information. Is there anything prohibiting them from doing so?

Looking forward t oyour response.
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Question by:jbajaj
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by:blissbear
ID: 24074683
It's probably not the cellular tower.  Every cellphone has an integrated GPS receiver. As to weither or not the phone is looking up the information from a database in the phone or accessing one over the GSM network, I couldn't tell you.
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tankergoblin earned 250 total points
ID: 24074817
1- Cell Name(locality) is transmitted by BTS(base station ).
2- The platform which gives locality information to BTS is BSC. I am not aware of any BSC manufacturer who can expose this functionality through some APIs. I have worked on Nortel, Siemens and Huawei BSC.
3- For blackberry you will have to turn on this feature , Go to Options> Advanced options>Cell broadcast. Enable it and add the channel ID.
In your Nokia handset the cell info display feature may be enabled by default.
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by:Mechanic_Kharkov
ID: 24075523
And this feature works not only in India. In Ukraine it also works well. :-)
About API. If you are creating software for some handset, then it's depend on it's manufacturer. E.g. for nokia there is a code here http://wiki.forum.nokia.com/index.php/CS000947_-_Getting_Cell_ID_in_Java_ME .
Sure that many of proprietary OS has similar feature to use in your apps.
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