Documenting the Columns in the downloadable Cells database CSV



I checked around, and I can’t seem to find documentation on what the different columns in the data mean. I’m referring to the complete dataset that is available for download (~3 GB).

E.g., what is “range”, “mcc”, “samples”?

Please let me know where these things are documented.



Hey Navid,

You’re right, we’re going to publish an updated documentation sheet on the columns soon. I’ve mentioned the column descriptions below:

Radio: The generation of broadband cellular network technology
MCC: Mobile Country Code
Net: Mobile Network Code
Area: Location Area Code (LAC)
Cell: Cell tower code (CID)
lat, long: Approx coordinates of the cell tower
range: Approximate area within which the cell could be. (In meters)
samples: No of measures processed to get this data

  • 1 = The location is determined by processing samples
  • 0 = We got the location directly from the telecom firm

created: When the cell was first added to database (UNIX timestamp)
updated: When the cell was last seen (UNIX timestamp)

I hope this helps!


What does the averageSignal column mean?


A quick overview of how we get this column:

To get the positions of cells, We first process measurements from our data contributors. Each measurement includes GPS location of device + Scanned cell identifier (MCC-MNC-LAC-CID) + Other device properties (Signal strength).

  • GPS location is a must
  • Scanned cell id is a must
  • Other properties aren’t absolutely necessary to find the cell location

We process thousands of measurements for a particular MCC-MNC-LAC-CID are we figure out the estimate location of a cell. In this process, signal strength of the device is averaged. Most ‘averageSignal’ values are 0 because we simply didn’t receive signal strength values.