Cell ID

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A GSM Cell ID (CID) is a generally unique number used to identify each Base transceiver station (BTS) or sector of a BTS within a Location area code (LAC) if not within a GSM network.

In some cases the last digit of CID represents cells' Sector ID

  • value 0 is used for omnidirectional antenna.
  • values 1,2,3 are used to identify sectors of trisector or bisector antennas.

In UMTS, there's a distinction between Cell ID (CID) and UTRAN Cell ID (also called LCID). The UTRAN Cell ID (LCID) is a concatenation of the RNC-ID (2 bytes, ID of the Radio Network Controller) and Cell ID (4 bytes, unique ID of the Cell). CID is just the Cell ID. The concatenation of both will still be unique but can be confusing in some cellid databases as some store the CID and other store LCID. It makes sense to record them separately as the RNC ID is the same for many cells, the unique element is the CID. [1] [2]

A valid CID ranges from 0 to 65535 on GSM and CDMA networks and from 0 to 268435455 on UMTS and LTE networks. [3]

Public Cell ID databases[edit]

A number of public Cell ID databases are available:

Name Unique Cells Countries (MCC) Operators (MNC) Measurements Free database download Active project Comment
Unwired Labs' LocationAPI 46 214 201+[4] 226 1613 8 102 million no yes Supports GSM, CDMA, UMTS and LTE technologies via its API.
Unwired Labs LocationAPI Global Coverage Map
Location-API (Combain) 46 076 012+ 226 1560 5 863 million no yes
OpenCellID 6 042 868[5] 242 3561 962 855 960 yes yes
OpenCellID database growth monthly
Based on crowd-sourced data;
Free API key required for database download; the Api key can be registered here: http://opencellid.org/#action=database.requestForApiKey
http://wigle.net/ 2 005 013 [6] no
Mozilla Location Service 1 449 167 [7] 136 [8] 297 630 000 no yes Based on crowd-sourced data. Access only through API, no reverse (list of cells from coordinates). Also WiFi database.
OpenSignal 824 297[9] 825 5 186 324 530 no no
http://openbmap.org/ 695 294[10] 194 633 yes yes
http://www.netmeterproject.com/ 184 925 77 174 10 471 339 limited; private use only only a small portion of the database can be downloaded and for private use only:
the measurements where the crowd users accepted the
"Creative Commons Namensnennung-Nicht-kommerziell-Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Deutschland" license
http://celldb.org/ 138 582 221 640 2 649 453 password protected
http://cellspotting.com/ 118 266 648 last database extract 23.9.2008
http://geomena.org/ 31 311 [11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7240038/utran-cell-identity-returned-by-getcid
  2. ^ http://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_ts/125400_125499/125401/04.02.00_60/ts_125401v040200p.pdf#page=15
  3. ^ https://mozilla-ichnaea.readthedocs.org/en/latest/cell.html
  4. ^ "Unwired Labs Coverage Map". Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  5. ^ "opencellid.org Realtime Coverage Map". Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  6. ^ "Stats WiGLE". Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  7. ^ "Stats Mozilla Location Service". Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  8. ^ "Cell Stats Mozilla Location Service". Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  9. ^ "Stats OpenSignalMap". Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  10. ^ "openBmap". Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  11. ^ "geomena". Retrieved 2014-01-23. 

External links[edit]

  • OpenCellID - an open source project, aiming to create a complete database of Cell IDs worldwide, with their locations
  • cellidfinder - Find the coordinates of any known CellID.
  • openBmap - a free and open map of wireless communicating objects (e.g. cellular antenna, Wi-Fi access points...)
  • minigps - some information on Cell IDs in china