Ericsson releases "free" cell-id lookup API

Alex (Maxious) Sadleir maxious at
Tue Nov 3 09:20:57 CET 2009

2009/11/3 jeanmatthew <jeanmatthewjohnsson at>:
>> Is it very much different than the Google location API?
>>Definately - It only gives you 1 cell position (latitude/longitude, is
>>this the position of the cell tower?), a locality name and an accuracy
>>measure in meters per API call. This is unlike the Google API where
>>the whole locating operation can be considered server side and other
>>attributes such as rxlevel and timing advance can be considered. So
>>you would have to develop your own application to combine results from
>>both serving and neighbour cells in a meaningful way (their example
>>only tells you the serving cell location) and you still would not have
>>rxlevel/timing advance information.
> All cell-id based positioning is done server side (unless you have the whole
> database in your device)
Which is the intention of openbmap-locator

> Do you have any indication that Google is using
> rxlevels and timing advance?

See the "signal_strength" and "timing_advance" specifications for more detail.

> Are there any devices that supports access to
> these measures? To do any kind of combination you still need to extract all
> of the data from the device and send to the server. Google doesn't have
> access to any kind of data from the network.

Google Maps apps even on pre-android phones (Java Mobile Edition) have
had access to cell-id via the various proprietary java interfaces
net.rim.device.api.system.GPRSInfo.getCellInfo().getCellId() on the
blackberry etc). These interfaces are what allowed the OpenCellID
project to exist before the freerunner was released.

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