Cell Broadcast on HTC Touch

Mobile, Tech, Tips n Tricks, Tools

Cell Broadcast also know as Short Message Service – Cell Broadcast (SMS-CB) is a service designed for delivery of messages to multiple users in a specified area. Unlike SMS Point to Point which is manly a one to one service Cell Broadcast is a one to many service.

Some mobile operators use Cell Broadcast for communicating the area code of the antenna cell to the mobile user (via channel 050), for nationwide or citywide alerting, weather reports, mass messaging, location based news, etc. The service might not be supported by all the operators; even some of the handsets don’t have the capability to receive Cell Broadcast messages.

One of the readers on my earlier post on HTC Touch wanted to know whether the Cell Broadcast service could be enabled on HTC. The service can be enabled easily on a Nokia or a Sony Ericsson phone and isn’t so easy to configure on HTC.

Steps to enable Cell Broadcast on HTC Touch

  1. Navigate to the following screen on the device
    Start -> Settings -> Phone -> More
  2. Check the “Enable” box under the Broadcast Channels

    Cell Info on HTC Touch

  3. Click on the “Settings” to bring up the following screen

    Cell Info on HTC Touch

    -> Check “Receive channel list”
    -> Set Language to “All Languages”
    -> Create a new item with any name and channel number set to 050 or 50

  4. You should immediately see the Cell Broadcast messages being displayed as message alerts.
  5. Cell Broadcast messages as message alerts are annoying and if you want the same to appear on the home screen, install the BatteryStatus application. Once installed, the application has an option to display the Cell broadcast messages on the “Today” screen
    You can even optionally set the alignment for the broadcast messages.
  6. Once the above setting is done, you should see the Broadcast messages on the home screen as shown below (The message is next to the battery status)


Note: The display of Broadcast messages is a battery sucker ! As you can see from the above image, the battery was fully charged before I enabled the broadcast feature. Within a day, the battery drained to 18% ! Every time a message is received, the display light is turned on and this is one major battery drainer.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Raj Apr 25, 2008 Link

    Whats sad is that I do find the cell broadcast shown as message alerts very annoying and I’ve turned those off for that reason.. But now that I know about this application to make it appear in the today screen, I can’t install it. I can’t install any application on my phone. Sucks! 🙁

  • Harish Apr 25, 2008 Link

    So back to using ur HTC Touch?

  • Venu Apr 28, 2008 Link

    Yes Batterystatus does a decent job of showing the broadcast info on the today screen, but as i noted in the last, this feature sucks battery like anything.
    Not able to install ? So your activesync issue still isn’t fixed ?

    Yes, the iPhone owner made his way to my place last week and I’m back to HTC 🙁

  • g g Jul 26, 2009 Link

    Is it working in 3G networks (WCDMA, UMTS) or only GSM?

  • Alberto Dec 3, 2009 Link

    I have a HTC S621 and I would like to know how to permanently disable cell broadcast messages.

    Thank you

    • Gizmo Jan 4, 2010 Link

      Go to the exact same place as the “Tutorial” says instead of enabling it you click disable all channels

  • land Jan 29, 2010 Link

    How to find SMS-CB on HTC-HD2???? Help me pls

  • Roberto Mar 30, 2010 Link

    Venuke, I find great your post and i´ve decided to post a translation to portuguese in my own blog. I put a note indicating your blog as a respect to author.

  • r Apr 18, 2012 Link

    how to stop cb (promotional mess) messages on htc explorer

  • Nidhi May 31, 2012 Link

    enabling cell broad cast messages is annoying. I used to get bulk spam kind of messages in thousands every minute on my htc one x from message center 50. Complaints to the vendor & my airtel service provider was in vain. I disabled this option on htc one X by going to settings>>calls>>cell broad cast >>Disable. Now I am much relieved and there no bulk sms on my cell

  • ashish Jan 27, 2013 Link

    How to disable these mags? I am fed up of receiving these notifications.k