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 first or 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 (12 bits, ID of the Radio Network Controller) and Cell ID (16 bits, 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 (216-1) on GSM and CDMA networks and from 0 to 268435455 (228-1) on UMTS and LTE networks.[3]

Cell ID databases and services[edit]

A number of commercial and public Cell ID databases and services are available:

Name Unique Cells Countries (MCC) Operators (MNC) Measurements Free database download Active project Comment
Cellspotting.com 0.1 million [4] 667 no
Combain Mobile - Location-API.com >75 million [5] 240 >1700 >26 billion no yes Supports GSM, CDMA, UMTS, LTE and Wi-Fi (>1B Wi-Fis) via API.
Combain Mobile Global CellID Coverage Map
[6]
Unwired Labs - LocationAPI.org by Unwired Labs 81.23 million [7] 240 1712 25 billion no yes Supports WiFi, GSM, CDMA, UMTS and LTE technologies via its API.
Unwired Labs LocationAPI Global Coverage Map
[8]
Mozilla Location Service 22 million[9] 240[10] 2.7 billion[9] yes[11] yes[9] Based on crowd-sourced data. Also WiFi database. Cooperating with OpenCellID[11] and Combain.[12]
Mylnikov GEO[13] >14 million 505 3500 yes yes Contains data from radiocells.org, OpenCellID and MLS.
Navizon[14] 71 million 239 1712 22 billion no yes Based on crowd-sourced data. Also WiFi database. [15]
NetMeterProject.com 0.2 million 77 174 10 million limited; private use only no [16] 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
radiocells.org [17] 0.5 million 94 243 yes yes Based on crowd-sourced data.
OpenCellID [18] 8 million 242 1914 1.4 billion yes yes
OpenCellID database growth monthly
Based on crowd-sourced data; free API key required for database download;
OpenSignal[19] 0.8 million 825 5.2 billion no yes
WiGLE [20] 6.2 million no yes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7240038/utran-cell-identity-returned-by-getcid
  2. ^ "3GPP TS" (PDF). www.etsi.org. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Cell Networks". Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "CellSpotting Stats". Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  5. ^ "Combain Mobile". Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  6. ^ "Combain Mobile Coverage Maps". Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  7. ^ "Unwired Labs LocationAPI". Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  8. ^ "Unwired Labs Coverage Map". Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  9. ^ a b c "Statistics - Mozilla Location Service". Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  10. ^ "Per Country Cell Statistics - Mozilla Location Service". Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  11. ^ a b "Cell Download - Mozilla Location Service". Retrieved 2015-01-30. 
  12. ^ "Combain Deal Helps Expand Mozilla Location Service". Retrieved 2015-04-09. 
  13. ^ "Stats Mylnikov GEO Cells". Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  14. ^ "Navizon Global Positioning System". Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  15. ^ "Navizon Cellular Coverage Map". Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  16. ^ "Board NetMeterProject". Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  17. ^ "radiocells.org". Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  18. ^ "opencellid.org Realtime Statistics". Retrieved 2015-08-30. 
  19. ^ "Stats OpenSignalMap". Retrieved 2014-09-06. 
  20. ^ "Stats WiGLE". Retrieved 2016-03-29. 

External links[edit]

  • Combain Positioning Service - cloud service with API to locate wireless devices based on Cell-ID and Wi-Fi
  • LocationAPI by Unwired Labs - Location as an API service to locate devices with WiFi, Cell towers & IP
  • Mozilla Location Service - an open service which lets devices determine their location based on network infrastructure like WiFi access points and cell towers
  • 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.
  • Navizon - cloud service with API to locate wireless devices using a global database of WiFi access points and Cell-ID locations
  • 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
  • Mylnikov GEO - an open source API project. It lets get coordinates of mobile towers with no limits and absolutely free. (Russian)
  • Base Station Numbering Schemes - Discussion of cellular repeater numerology