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How does "the system" know where to find *my* phone?

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Anonymous
November 30, 2004 1:05:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.tech (More info?)

Can anyone tell me where I can find an article that will answer this
question: how does "the nationwide cellular system" know where to
find *my* phone?

My guess is that when I turn the phone on in any given cell, or when I
move from cell to cell, there is some kind of registration process
that goes on, in which there is a computer that knows whether my cell
phone is turned on, and if so, what cell I'm in, and that the computer
database is used to send a signal to the tower in that cell.

Is this approximately right? The alternative, it seems to me, would
be to broadcast a "pick up your phone" message throughout the US,
wherever I might possibly be; and given the volume of calls, that
strikes me as impractical.

Anyone responding, I'd appreciate it if you'd send a copy of your
response to me at practicalinfo@earthlink.net. Thanks.

More about : system find phone

Anonymous
November 30, 2004 6:05:52 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.tech (More info?)

"Howard Karten" <practicalinfo@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:c06412b6.0411301005.15bbe99b@posting.google.com...
> Can anyone tell me where I can find an article that will answer this
> question: how does "the nationwide cellular system" know where to
> find *my* phone?
>
> My guess is that when I turn the phone on in any given cell, or when I
> move from cell to cell, there is some kind of registration process
> that goes on, in which there is a computer that knows whether my cell
> phone is turned on, and if so, what cell I'm in, and that the computer
> database is used to send a signal to the tower in that cell.
>
> Is this approximately right? The alternative, it seems to me, would
> be to broadcast a "pick up your phone" message throughout the US,
> wherever I might possibly be; and given the volume of calls, that
> strikes me as impractical.
>
> Anyone responding, I'd appreciate it if you'd send a copy of your
> response to me at practicalinfo@earthlink.net. Thanks.

Your first guess is closest to correct. Anytime you turn your phone on, it
tries to register with which ever system will let it do so, whether or not
that is your local system or a roaming system. If your carrier doesn't have
roaming agreements with the carriers in which you are trying to roam, your
phone will constantly keep trying to register, broadcasting over and over,
till the battery runs down. If you've ever traveled to an area that you
cannot get service in, then you may have noticed your battery running down
very quickly.
When your phone does register with a roaming carrier, that info is sent
through a large system of computers that is basically a database that all
other carriers are attached to, so that anytime someone tries to call you,
that database is accessed and it routes your call to the appropriate carrier
cell site. That is basically it in a nutshell. The technology is more
complicated of course. You should be able to do a google on cellular
systems and find how each different type of technology specifically work.
Hope this was some help.
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