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  1. #1
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    Getting the CELL ID on a Nokia Handset

    I am developing a location based system for wireless devices and I need to know how to get the Cell ID. Is software currently available to get this information? If it is how and where do I get this?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    CELL ID

    Don't know it it helps - but found this posting elsewhere:

    >On an application I am developing, we can't access the cell ID >either. But the application connects to a server with GPRS >through WAP, and with our cellular provider the WAP gateway >adds an ID field to the request's user agent header, so we are >using this to identify the user.
    >Hope this helps,
    >shmoove

  3. #3
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    Getting user info using a WAP Gateway

    Hi Ian,
    Thanks a lot for the information but since I am relatively new to this I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me more detailed information on where or how to get the user info using the WAP Gateway via GPRS.
    Once again, thanks a lot.

  4. #4
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    Sorry - thats all I know.

    If you find out, post the information here - I wanna know too. When I get the time, I'll have a play - may be some weeks though

  5. #5
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    Cell ID

    Some people in the Cellular industry have told me that it is possible to get the position of the nearest Cell site using Nokia software called Net Monitor. I believe this software is compatible with the Nokia 5110 handset. I am still trying to get this software. The software supposedly gives you the Cell ID using a technique called Timing Advance(TA) factor and the user's distance from the Cell site is measured in metres, eg. 50,100,150 m, etc..
    Has anybody else heard about this software called "Net Monitor" or used it?

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Well, I'm the one that posted that gateway thing.
    Basically, when you use http through a WAP gateway, the gateway adds and cuts off all sorts of things. In our case, the WAP gateway adds to every request it receives a string in the User-Agent header field that uniquely identifies, before forwarding onto the Internet.
    But this isn't standard behaviour as far as I know (which isn't very far
    You should contact your cellular provider and ask them about it.

    If they do have something like this, then all you need to do is send any http request from the MIDlet, then on the server you extract the ID from the User-Agent string and send it back to your MIDlet as the response.

    shmoove

  7. #7
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    Cell ID

    Ok, I've found one way to get the Cell ID. Nokia has a software called "NetMonitor" which allows you to unlock the handset and allows full access to various network features including Cell ID. Now I've heard this software works very well all over Asia but I havent tried it yet here in the US. I plan on trying it within the next few days. You may need a GSM compatible Nokia phone with an Infrared port to try it out. If anybody tries this out please lemme know.

    The link to the software Nokia "NetMonitor" is:

    http://www.gsmworld.net/nokia/netmonitor/net_main.shtml

  8. #8
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    getting cell id and else

    Hi All..
    may be.. I want to make clear with code-maker ask..
    it's same with my problem...
    When we get cellID, TA, or else... we want that can be capture and included in application send to server e.g. SMSC via SMS or else..
    so how can we do that...
    Is it same with u'r question Mr/Ms. code-maker..
    sorry if it I wrong..

    Regards
    symbie

  9. #9
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    LOL @ Symie.

    I have the identical probem, except I'm developing in C++ for my Symbian 60 Nokia 7650.

    There is some software that has managed to work out the answer, most notably is this: http://my-symbian.com/7650/applicati...Auto=279&faq=2

    Which is a mini-GPS system for your phone, and is basically the software I was going to write (Damn!).

    There is a C++ class that is meant to be able to retrieve this informaiton, check my other post for more information.

    http://discussion.forum.nokia.com/fo...9348#post49348

  10. #10
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    Getting the CellID with c++ is quite easy (it must be since I managed to do it!).
    I took the GetIMEI example in the SDK and modified it a little, just to pick some different field from the Rtel thingy. the function below is what does it:

    LOCAL_C const TUint GetCellIdL(RTelServer& aTelServer, TInt aPhoneId)
    {
    // Get the phone name
    RTelServer::TPhoneInfo phoneInfo;
    User::LeaveIfError(aTelServer.GetPhoneInfo(aPhoneId,phoneInfo));

    // Open the phone by name
    RBasicGsmPhone phone;
    User::LeaveIfError(phone.Open(aTelServer,phoneInfo.iName));
    CleanupClosePushL(phone);

    MBasicGsmPhoneNetwork::TCurrentNetworkInfo aNetworkInfo;
    phone.GetCurrentNetworkInfo( aNetworkInfo);

    //Get the signal strength
    User::LeaveIfError(phone.GetCurrentNetworkInfo( aNetworkInfo));

    // Close the Phone handle, no longer needed
    CleanupStack::PopAndDestroy(); // phone

    return(aNetworkInfo.iCellId);
    }

  11. #11
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    Ahhh... similar to the answer that I found on:

    http://discussion.forum.nokia.com/fo...=%2ACELL+ID%2A

    Well, if that was too easy for you, perhaps you'd like to have a go at getting the Timing Advance (TA) field

    There is no provision anywhere in any SDK to retrieve that information, which strikes me a odd (or purposeful)... as sucessful processing of that field along with knowledge of cell tower locations could provide an application with almost GPS-like accuracy in positioning itself.



    Nokia have (officially?) responded on the forums and said that this information is not available.

    Anyone for a conspiracy theory?

  12. #12
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    Yes, in fact what I am really after is getting the full NMR data, not only the TA but also the neighbouring cell information and (wishful thinking perhaps) power control, radio link timeout channel number and all that stuff. Getting the CellId (and also the signal strength incidentally) was the easy bit, and when I managed I thought it would just need a little more effort for the rest of the stuff.

    I personally think it is impossible that this data is not available - if anything even because it is available to SIM toolkit. How such data could be available to something as simple as SIM toolkit but be unavailable to a fully fledged OS like Symbian strikes me as odd at the very least.

    I am actually helping someone with a positioning system based on the neighbour cell information, but we are using the SIM toolkit to do it. Good because it works on many phones (even those without a 'real' OS), but hardly the best way. I would have wished to use the SIM toolkit as default for 'simple' phones, while allowing a better system to be used on Symbian phones.

    I think maybe what Nokia mean (Nokia experts please comment) about the data not being available is that they are not available in the standard APIs. I am sure there is at the very least some 'quick and dirty' way of peeking registers or something like that (with all the perils that brings along with it). I just haven't asked the question yet because I'm quite new to Symbian (a few days actually) and though I ought to exhaust all the possibilities (forums, documentation etc) before giving up and asking a direct question

    Incidentally I have seen a net monitor program on a Nokia 7650 (belonging to a Nokia representative) with as many details as on a 6210 or 7110. I would imagine it was a Symbian application of some sort, so there you are, the data is available somewhere - someone just has to tell us where and how.

    Best Regards
    Christian

  13. #13
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    (This was meant to be part of the previous reply, but I hit the send button early)

    A word of caution regarding the achievable accuracy - this has been widely exagerated.

    The method has these limitations:

    1. It is likely that you will have the TA of only one cell - the mobile can only know the TA of the cell it is currently using to make the call (or SMS or whatever), unless you are lucky to have a handover, in which case you may get another one.

    2. To get an 'unambiguous' fix you would need at least three simultaneous CELLID/TA readings, and these must be from cells on three different stations, not different cells on the same station.

    3. The TA increases in steps of about 510 metres. This, combined with other factors such as multipath propagation and such stuff means that you only know your distance from the cell site with an accuracy of +/- 400 metres or so (can even be worse in some cases)

    The only way that seems to give reasonable results is to use the NMR data (and TA contributes also), but that is quite a complex thing. To do it properly you will need accurate coverage prediction maps and very detailed information about the base station network. The algoritms that use this data to extract the position are a mix of guesswork, geometry, and some degree of 'artificial intelligence'. Note that by resonable results I mean something like an error radius of 50 metres with 80% confidence - hardly GPS accuracy.

    With UMTS it will probably be a very different story, since mobiles would be attached to a number of cells simultaneously and the equivalent of TA is resolved in much finer steps, but then again there probably won't be an NMR API in Nokia UMTS phones

    Regards
    Christian

  14. #14
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    Yes, the possibility of peeking into memory to try and grab that data has not escaped my notice. I mean, if they can install Linux on an XBox, surely someone can whip out a few words of info from my phone.

    I am aware of the 7650 netmonitor situation, but I also know that you have to modify the flash of the phone in order to install a special version of the Sybmian O/S in order to get this to work. (Not that I've find instrucitons in English for this procedure yet, but there are some Euro sites that seem to show it being done).

    I can still remember when GPS was only accurate to 100m, which would serve me nicely.

    The application I was interested in writing was only a "McDonalds Finder" anyway, so I can live with CellID information to achieve that. But it wouldn't be anywhere near as cool.

    With regard to needing multiple cells, I was concieving my application be used "on the move". Basically, you're driving in your car and you want to find something. Surely most GPS systems are used in montion?

    With that premise, it's simply a matter of waiting until you switch cells and then comparing the two readings you get at that point (almost) simultaneously.

    True, with only two cells there is some abiguity involved. But then you have the choice of comparing a previous reading, or analysing the CellID to obtain direction information. (My provider usually user CellIDs ending in 1 for NORTH, 2 for SE, 3 for SW facing).

    Annoyingly NONE of the information is available with JAVA, even Sim Toolkit (am I correct?) So the portabliity of any application, even one as simple as my McDonalds finder, is limited.

    Pretty dissapointing.

    Did no-one invisage phones would want to do more than play games and take pictures?

  15. #15
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    We seem to be on the same frequency, if you'll pardon the pun.

    Just a minor 'correction'. The NMR data IS actually available to SIM toolkit, and I am using precisely that to get the info. However the SIM toolkit application (if you can call it that) just sends the info to the network, and it is equipment at the network that does the clever work of 'guessing' the position.

    The data available actually has all the information you could possibly extract that is of any use for obtaining a location, namely:

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