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Gadget Blog Corrections Blog

An actually-researched look at gadget blog bullshit.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Cell Broadcast

Thomas Ricker of Engadget writes:
The technology called “cell broadcast” is currently being tested in Zoetermeer and allows authorities to send an SMS to all phones in a specific zone without the need to know each individual phone number. Hey wait, isn’t this the exact scenario that’s supposed to bring cellular networks to their knees!?
Where to start? Firstly, Cell Broadcast is a standard feature of SMS, not a new technology "being tested". You'll find options for it in the messaging menu of any GSM phone. Secondly, being impressed that you can "geo-target" phones by virtue of them being in range of a particular antenna is kind of lame. And thirdly, Ricker seems unfamiliar with the concept, and indeed the dictionary definition, of "broadcasting". As you might expect, Cell Broadcast sends messages to all phones at once (using the GSM control channel), rather than having to send them separately as Ricker imagines.

5 Comments:

At 12:30 PM, Blogger N.B. said...

Don't see it as an option on my Treo SMS menu for T-Mobile in NYC.

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger trialex said...

You critisise Engaadget and Gizmodo for making generalisations and not getting facts right - are you SURE that you can use cell broadcast on any GSM phone? My Sony Ericsson can't. In fact it sounds like a pretty silly thing to implement - imagine the spam that would be sent out by advertisers all the time.

 
At 3:58 PM, Blogger Editor said...

The Treo is pretty much unique amongst modern phones in not supporting Cell Broadcast, I guess because it's more Palm than phone.

Sony Ericsson refers to Cell Broadcast as "Area info".

Only providers can send broadcast messages, not customers.

 
At 8:09 AM, Blogger macmonkey said...

That last line looks like a question to the readers of Engadget rather than a statement of fact. Engadget often asks readers their opinion on a topic, just look at the numbers of comments per post compared to Gizmodo (or your blog) for example.

 
At 6:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article you got here. I'd like to read a bit more concerning this matter. The only thing your blog misses is some pics of any gadgets.
Katherine Karver
Phone jammer

 

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