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  1.    #1  
    Is your Treo really Smart(phone)? or a Dumb(phone)?
    Even a cheapest Nokia phone has an option to enable display of "cell info". This really helps you to locate yourself when you travel to new places. I could not find anything available even remotely near to providing cell tower information on Treo.
    This invokes a question: Is your Treo really Smart enough?
    -jmd
    Palm III> Visor> Visorphone> Treo 180> 270> 600> 650> 680> Centro> HTC Tilt> BB-8310> Pixi-Plus> Pre 3
    Touchpad 16GB
  2. #2  
    Mine's smart enough to go on the web and look it up. Why carry something I don't need all the time in memory?
  3. #3  
    Do share... What site are you using to glean cell tower information?
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by jmdesai View Post
    Is your Treo really Smart(phone)? or a Dumb(phone)? Even a cheapest Nokia phone has an option to enable display of "cell info".
    Several carriers don't provide that information. I'm sure the Treo gets that information, but there is a lack of proper software and UI to display this on the screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmdesai View Post
    I could not find anything available even remotely near to providing cell tower information on Treo.
    Have you seen "TreoSpot"? (This utility has been abandoned and is no longer supported, it is available only as a curiosity).

    - mvk
    Game over!
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenHex View Post
    Several carriers don't provide that information. I'm sure the Treo gets that information, but there is a lack of proper software and UI to display this on the screen.

    Have you seen "TreoSpot"? (This utility has been abandoned and is no longer supported, it is available only as a curiosity).

    - mvk
    MVK, You are the creater of Treospot, I hope. In that case you can throw light on "GID". What is GID? Is it cell location info? Why did not you try to decode name of cell location? Why did you abandon development of Treospot?

    -jmd
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by jmdesai View Post
    MVK, You are the creater of Treospot, I hope. In that case you can throw light on "GID". What is GID? Is it cell location info? Why did not you try to decode name of cell location? Why did you abandon development of Treospot?

    -jmd
    Oh yeah, TreoSpot was an experiment that didn't quiet workout, given the total lack of interest in TreoSpot and more importantly, the Palm SDK API does not provide the necessary hooks to get the GID. (I hope they do in future) I think Symbian and WM provide a simple means of getting the GID, and so have exciting Location Based Applications available for them.

    Ok, now the explanation:

    GID - Global ID, each cell tower has a unique ID that is a combination of: MCC:MNC:LAC:CellID
    • MCC - Mobile Country Code... (2 or 3 hex digits) India is "404"
    • MNC - Mobile Network Code.. (2 or 3 hex digits), BSNL is "66"
    • LAC - Location Area Code... (4 hex digits) (this appears to be a "logical" rather than a physical enity, defined by the carrier, maybe a combination of Cell towers)
    • CellID - Cell Tower ID. (4 hex digits)
    Normally, a Cell tower can service from 1 km to 20 km radius, sometimes upto 150 km, in sparsely populated areas. The combination of the four numbers (= GID) is guaranteed to be unique, anywhere in the world.

    However, a single "spot" may be near several Cell towers, and the phone may register to any one of them at any time, depending on the signal strength and other factors. The algorithm to determine the exact spot (say, within about 100 m accuracy) from all this is quiet complicated and requires a lot of mathematical manipulation, i.e., signal strength, triangulation techniques etc.

    Now, the actual "location" text, say "Pune Railway Station" or some such... Is something that may or may not be sent to the phone (depending on the carrier - BSNL used to, but no longer provides this info in Pune). Hence this is not a reliable way of determining the location, though as you have pointed out, can be very useful.

    To answer your question, it is not possible for suscribers to decode the GID and determine the location, unless one has access to (possibly confidential) cell tower deployment maps etc.

    I hope the above is sufficient to get you going.

    - mvk
    Last edited by GreenHex; 07/07/2007 at 05:19 AM.
    Game over!
  7.    #7  
    Thanks MVK.
    That was a very valuable information.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenHex View Post
    Now, the actual "location" text, say "Pune Railway Station" or some such... Is something that may or may not be sent to the phone (depending on the carrier). Hence this is not a reliable way of determining the location, though as you have pointed out, can be very useful.
    I think most carriers in In india provides location text information. That is what Nokia phones display. Even if there is a way to display only location text, it would be quiet usefull. Why don't you write a small app to display it? (if made available by carrier)

    -jmd
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by jmdesai View Post
    Why don't you write a small app to display it? (if made available by carrier)
    I'll look into it... after a week or so. I think it should be possible; some "study" is required, though, for us to draw any conclusion about the Treo.

    - mvk
    Game over!
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by jmdesai View Post
    Is your Treo really Smart(phone)? or a Dumb(phone)?
    Even a cheapest Nokia phone has an option to enable display of "cell info". This really helps you to locate yourself when you travel to new places. I could not find anything available even remotely near to providing cell tower information on Treo.
    This invokes a question: Is your Treo really Smart enough?
    -jmd
    Why would a "smartphone" depend on showing cellular tower data?

    This is serious trolling.
  10. #10  
    Try cellreception.com for site locations and ownership. I'm sure there are others.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by jmdesai View Post
    Is your Treo really Smart(phone)? or a Dumb(phone)?
    Even a cheapest Nokia phone has an option to enable display of "cell info". This really helps you to locate yourself when you travel to new places. I could not find anything available even remotely near to providing cell tower information on Treo.
    This invokes a question: Is your Treo really Smart enough?
    -jmd
    For the tower info you seek, dial ##33286# (##DEBUG#) in the Phone app.

    Sprint Pre & Motorola H300 BT headset

    Dead devices: Palm Pro; Palm III; Treo 600, 650, 700p, 755p; Centro
    Yes, I finally updated my tagline!
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by HandyDJs.com View Post
    For the tower info you seek, dial ##33286# (##DEBUG#) in the Phone app.
    Only works on specific carrier phones. I think that's Verizon or Sprint. Cingular or others it will not "work".
  13. #13  
    This code would not work on my Sprint 700p.
    "Arguing with a police officer is like mud wrestling a pig.
    Eventually you realize that the pig likes it."
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by khaytsus View Post
    Why would a "smartphone" depend on showing cellular tower data?

    This is serious trolling.
    I think most people commenting here have never experienced what jmdesai is refering to and as a result cannot imagine just how convenient this is when you are traveling across a city and are not sure if you are going in the right direction - sure one can use google maps and an external GPS or as some one has suggested go to some website that (perhaps - though I am not sure which one does) tells you where you are at any given time. But that takes several key strokes and measurable amount of time to find out where you are and if you are travelling in a taxi by the time you figured out where you were 5 minutes ago, you are already somewhere else

    Most GSM networks in India (though not all) in most cities (at least all that I have been to) broadcast the cell tower name (which is generally the name of the nearest well known land mark, or name of the nearest housing project or the area you are in). Even the cheapest of the phones (Nokia, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson, Samsung) can catch and display this information right at the top of the screen all teh time and change it in real time as you traverse the city - even when you are talking on the phone. If I am going in a cab in a new city or in an unfamiliar area in my city, I can tell by just looking at the screen whether I am generally heading in the right direction as the names displayed keep changing every few minutes - no need for expensive data access, no need for expensive GPS gadgets and maps. With all its sophistication the Treo seems to have overlooked something so simple. Treospot doesn't really fill this void - because it displays unintelligible numbers (GIDs) I can't tell from the numbers whether I am heading towards my destination or away from it.

    So this is not trolling - this is a genuinely useful feature, that is available for free on (almost) every brand of phones that you can buy in India but not on the treo. That I guess is the reason for jmdesai's anguish.
    Satish Joshi
  15. #15  
    Thanks for the explanation. I'd like that feature too..
  16. #16  
    I've seen the tower info here, and there's no usable information that I've ever seen out of it. I don't really see that it's a "feature" but perhaps an intereresting bit of information at most.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefBragg View Post
    This code would not work on my Sprint 700p.
    Oh... it is for GSM phones. CDMAs are entirely different.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenHex View Post
    I'll look into it... after a week or so.
    Responding to my own reply, I don't think this is possible, as the location name does not seem to be available anywhere on the Treo.

    - mvk
  19.    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenHex View Post
    Responding to my own reply, I don't think this is possible, as the location name does not seem to be available anywhere on the Treo.

    - mvk
    Hmm...Too bad that you can't get it on Treo. May be It's not the Treo, may be it is Palm OS, as it evolved from PDA , they missed some of those hooks which are more of phone-centric.

    Hello, Palmone. Hello Palm OS developers. Are you listening?

    -JMD

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