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Cells database:

The entire worldwide dataset of cell towers can be downloaded from http://opencellid.org/downloads

A valid e-mail address is required to register for an API key; this e-mail address will neither be sold nor be distributed to a third party.

- The file is updated on a daily basis
- Each token will be able to download only twice per day
- The database is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Signup:

You can signup for a key at https://opencellid.org/

Columns present in database:

Parameter Description
Radio The generation of broadband cellular network technology (Eg. LTE, GSM)
MCC Mobile country code. This info is publicly shared by International Telecommunication Union (link)
MNC Mobile network code. This info is publicly shared by International Telecommunication Union (link)
LAC/TAC/NID Location Area Code
CID This is a unique number used to identify each Base transceiver station or sector of BTS
Longitude Longitude, is a geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface
Longitude Latitude is a geographic coordinate that specifies the north–south position of a point on the Earth's surface.
Range Approximate area within which the cell could be. (In meters)
Samples Number of measures processed to get a particular data point
Changeable=1 The location is determined by processing samples
Changeable=0 The location is directly obtained from the telecom firm
Created When a particular cell was first added to database (UNIX timestamp)
Updated When a particular cell was last seen (UNIX timestamp)
AverageSignal To get the positions of cells, OpenCelliD processes measurements from data contributors. Each measurement includes GPS location of device + Scanned cell identifier (MCC-MNC-LAC-CID) + Other device properties (Signal strength). In this process, signal strength of the device is averaged. Most ‘averageSignal’ values are 0 because OpenCelliD simply didn’t receive signal strength values.

How to Open the Cells CSV:

The OpenCelliD cells database is available for download in the form of a ~900mb zipped file. On unzipping the file, the database comes down to a ~3.3 gb CSV. You’ll not be able to view/ work on this via excel as the file is too large for Microsoft Excel to handle. Microsoft Excel has an official limit of about 1 million rows. You have the following options:

- Use a programming language (Python, R, VBA etc..)
- Use a database (MS Access, SQL etc..)
- Use a software (reCsvEdit, CSV Viewer etc...) You can find a quick guide here