On some GSM phones you can unlock the engineering menu which allows you to look at some of the network parameters. I don't recommend you do this (and there aren't any instructions on this site) as you can mess up your phone if you don't know what you're doing. However, if you already have access to the menu and can see the cell ID, here's a bit more information.
O2 - UK
For a 5 figure Cell ID as follows: JKKKK
J is the 1 digit antenna number. J is 0 for an omni-directional site. J is 1, 2, or 3 for a sectored site, where antenna 1 is normally the most northerly pointing antenna, 2 is the next round clockwise (pointing roughly south and east), and antenna 3 points roughly west.
K is the base station's 4 digit unique identifier. With Cellnet the numbers ascend in approximately chronological order, the older cells number 0xxx, and the most recent 4xxx.
Example: Cell ID: 32727. This means your mobile's strongest (or only) signal from the Cellnet network is from antenna 3 of cell 2727. You are somewhere to the west (or north west or south west) of the base station, and its a relatively new base station. (In fact site 2727 is at Friary Wood, Wiltshire and was opened in early 1997).
For a 5 figure Cell ID as follows: KKKKJ
K is the base station's 4 digit unique identifier. With Vodafone there's no obvious pattern as to the numbering system.
J is the 1 digit antenna number. J is 0 for an omni-directional site. J is 1, 2, or 3 for a sectored site.
Example: Cell ID: 06680. This means your mobile's strongest
(or only) signal from the Vodafone network is from omni-directional cell 0668. (Site 0668
is located at Crawley Court in Hampshire.)
Tim Merrell (unofficial Vodafone Australia site) has sent information about Cell ID's used by Vodafone in Australia which may or may not be the same coding system as used by Vodafone in the UK...
For a 5 figure Cell ID as follows: SYXXC
S is the state (area) number (or post code) eg, 4xxxx is for Queensland, 2xxxx is for New South Wales.
Y is the year that they were built or proposed to be on line, eg, 3 for 1993, 4 for 1994 etc.
XX is the sequence that the towers were built 00-99. 00 and 01 are usually the MSC sites.
C is the cell number. As for UK, 0 is for
omni-directional, 1,2 or 3 for sectored.
Last updated: April 2005
Back to UK GSM & UMTS index page.