Your comments about the GSM & UMTS pages


Below are some of the comments (in italics) written by some of the first visitors to the GSM & UMTS pages between 1998 and 2000, sometimes with my on-line responses to them (normally I respond more fully by email as well). I have only used comments with the permission of their author. Some of them have been edited, normally I show this using '...' to highlight any snips. Unfortunately I haven't kept all the messages people have sent me so there are just a few here.

If you would like to write to me about the GSM & UMTS pages but haven't yet done so, please fill in the on-line reply form, by clicking on the link at the base of this page. I do read every message but can't guarantee a reply.. Mike Pratt, 23rd April 2005.

AUGUST 1998 - Simon Lydford (South Africa) - Opinion 'Good' - 'I found your articles very interesting...'

DECEMBER 1998 - Gerry Butler (Eire) - Opinion 'Excellent' - 'Nice site on the antenna pictures. It obviously took a lot of work and travel on your part... The ones I'm particularly interested in are the trees, both Vodafone and Orange, the electricity pylon and the shared site in Scotland. My initial impression is that Vodafone (tree) looks more realistic. These are being discussed but few if any have seen one yet.'

MIKE SAYS: Yes the site did take a lot of work! I would agree that the Vodafone tree is better. As well as looking more realistic it is also placed in a more appropriate surrounding. However there is a second type of Orange tree now pictured on this site , which does look better than the original one featured.

DECEMBER 1998 - Suj (UK) - Opinion 'Good' - 'Good work, like the regularly updated news section!... If u wish you may like to take a look at my site too, which is about mobile phones in the UK...

MIKE SAYS: I've included a link back to Suj's pages. I'm always happy to link to other people's pages so long as they cover a relevant subject.

DECEMBER 1998 - Chris Solbe (UK) - Opinion 'Excellent' - 'You may want include this link to the new UMTS Forum web site that went live a couple of weeks ago at Here you can find out more about UMTS and third-generation services in general, link to global standards bodies and other organisations & download reports and news letters published by the forum... Congratulations on such a useful and well-managed resource.

MIKE SAYS: Cheers! I've included a link to this site. I suspect the whole UMTS issue is a big question mark to most people at this stage.

JANUARY 1999 - Robert Campbell (UK) - Opinion 'Excellent' - 'I would like to tell you that the Orange tree was developed by Alan Dick and Co based in Cheltenham, if you drive by their test site... you can see their scots pine model. GOOD SITE!

MIKE SAYS: Thanks for the info - I'll see if I can get some photos!

JANUARY 1999 & 2000 - Quiezent - Opinion 'Good' - 'Very good info'. Quizent was also inquiring about some codes that you can enter on UK Vodafones.

MIKE SAYS: According to the newsgroup, *#101# apparently shows you the Home Location Register (HLR) that your subscriber details are entered on. For instance reply 'GHLRX3' means your details are held on GSM HLR X machine 3. *#102# apparently gives the name of the location of your current local switching centre (MSC). This varies with location. Quiezent has a website at

JANUARY 1999 - Tim Merrell (Australia)

MIKE SAYS: I've had several messages from Tim, who edits the (unofficial) Vodafone Australia pages. He's sent some info about cell numbering in Australia which I've added to Cell ID's page for info.

FEBRUARY 1999 - Robin Morris - Opinion 'Excellent' - 'It's great to see a site with real, up-to-date information about mobile phones. Do you have any statistics about the use of SMS on these networks?

MIKE SAYS: I don't have any info of this sort, but it would be interesting to know, maybe a reader does? The best site about SMS in the UK is Parsley, although according to the owner it's no longer being updated.

OCTOBER 1999 - Bob Phillips - Opinion: 'Good' - 'Hi, just browsing, and happened on your site, as I'm looking for ideas for a web site of my own, and your's looks pretty good for me to start on. Like you, I've got space to use for my own, just need an incling of what to put on it! Well Done. '

DECEMBER 1999 - Jason Sanderson - Opinion: 'Good' - 'Mike, After trawling through countless links for GSM sites, which all seemed to be about how many ringtones for Nokia's you can download it was refreshing to stumble accross an informed and well presented site.'...

DECEMBER 1999 - Joe Gros - Opinion: 'Good' - 'Could you / have you thought about doing anything for one2one? - i.e. the cell sites thing, or pictures'

MIKE SAYS: I try and make this site as unbiased to any particular UK network(s) in that I try and cover all of them as much as possible. However it is true that I tend to have less information about Orange and One2One - particularly the lack of cellsites listing. It's really a matter of time (or lack of it). Regular visitors will know that I have gradually been adding to, and improving this site. Watch this space basically!

JANUARY 2000 - Volker - Opinion: 'Good'. 'Hi there, with high interest I was watching Your fabulous internet pages. I am actually searching for more information about the trees carrying antennas (as shown in the Vodaphone section). I would be very pleased if You could provide me with some names and further information about the manufacturers and distributors.

MIKE SAYS: I was advised by a visitor to this site (see their message above) that the company responsible for creating the tree base stations for Vodafone and Orange is Alan Dick and Co, of Cheltenham, England.

JANUARY 2000 - Cristian Conti - Opinion: 'Good'. 'I thought you site was very readable and gave a casual edge to serious and technical stuff. Liked it. I was wondering whether you knew of the location of a map of the status of UMTS licensing in Europe'.

MIKE SAYS: Does anyone know of a site which gives the status of UMTS licencing in Europe, or globally. Let me know and I'll include a link to it! My site is just covering the licencing process in the UK (mainly in the news section).

JANUARY 2000 - Jon Pitts - Opinion: 'Excellent'. 'Excellent site, very interesting. I look forward to the Orange site listing'

MIKE SAYS: See my answer to Joe Gros above.

JANUARY 2000 - Francesco - Opinion: 'Fair'. 'I would like to find more information about the new system UMTS'

MIKE SAYS: Providing more info on the technical aspects of UMTS is a priority for this site. If anyone can contribute links to other sites already containing such information, can they submit them to me?

FEBRUARY 2000 - (Unknown) - Opinion: Excellent. 'Cool Site'

MARCH 2000 - Various - What's the difference between WAP, GPRS and UMTS?

MIKE SAYS: WAP, the wireless application protocol allows you to view simple text based internet pages on a mobile phone screen. The first WAP GSM phones now available use the standard GSM dial-up connection, normally a maximum of 9.6 kbits per second. Later in the year, BT Cellnet and Orange plan to launch WAP over packet based systems over their GSM networks this will allow higher data speeds to/from the handset. The content viewed on the handset will therefore be much the same but the connection will be faster and is 'always on'. The system that BT Cellnet plan to use for this enhanced connection is called 'GPRS'.

UMTS (Universal Mobile Telephony System) is a completely new mobile phone standard. It is the third generation mobile system in the UK, operating at higher frequencies to GSM. As well as handling voice calls, it will also handle data transmission, such as internet access, at much higher speeds than GSM does. In fairness to GSM, GSM was designed as a robust and secure voice mobile system to counteract the flaws in the original analogue mobile system, and wasn't designed with high speed data transmission in mind.

More of your comments will appear here in due course. Keep on writing!

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