In Australia, channel 50 is used for the “cell broadcast” information for mobile phone networks. Most often this contains the suburb or locality of the current base station the phone is talking to.

I enabled this on my new phone, and it works ok for GSM.

I’ve just been speaking to Optus technical support who told me that their 3G network doesnt’ support this feature. A bit odd, as you’d think 3G would have more features, not less. The guy didn’t know if there was some other way to retrieve the same kind of information.

One problem that I did discover is that every time the phone receives notification that it has changed base stations, it wakes up from standby mode.

That’s probably why I was woken up at 2am this morning wondering who had left the light on - turns out it was my phone. Amazing how bright a backlit display can be in the middle of the night :-(

I’ve contacted HTC in Australia and asked them to find out if this is a bug or a feature. I’m certain my old phone didn’t do this, so I consider it the latter.

I’ve also emailed our local Australian mobile device MVP Nick Randolph to see if he has any suggestions.