Another BlackJack Mystery: SMS messages in Europe

I’m often puzzled by aspects of my Windows Mobile device (a Cingular Blackjack / Samsung i607).

One is its occasional glimpses into the future (see here and here). Another is its refusal to expose my location to Google Maps.

One I haven’t ever figured out is the fact that whenever I travel in Europe (usually Switzerland and Germany) I get tons of SMS messages. They seem to be “Cell Broadcast” messages, meaning they aren’t sent directly to me but to everyone – but my phone seems to pick those CB messages out of the stream only while in Europe.

Here’s a screen shot from my last day in Europe on my most recent trip – in 24 hrs I got 230+ sms messages:


Opening up one of the messages, here’s what they look like (it is typical of the others):


What’s going on here?

Looks to me like I’m getting notified every time I go from one tower to another?

Most importantly, can someone show me how to turn these off? I’ve never found a setting which seems to apply – maybe I need to edit the registry?

All I know is that I don’t think I’ll ever buy a Windows Mobile device again.

3G iPhone in 2008? Maybe.

OpenMoko Neo1973? Maybe.

Something running Android that I can hack at? Bring it on.


  1. What you’re seeing is “normal” GSM traffic – the problem is that BlackJack isn’t processing these messages correctly.

    It’s these messages that allow a phone to display it’s “location” and they are transmitted on channel 50.

    To disable them, so to: Settings, Phone, All Calls, Channels

    From there, either disable all, or use the Menu to remove Channel 50 (often called Broadcast).

  2. hello, I got same problem you have but i dont know how to unsubscribe to this, i dont even subscribe or i dont know. Its like a enerated sms in anywhere i go its sending me an sms notification of the place. Its irritation me. The sms sender is Channel 50 and i have check that in our service provider in here, its not registered here and i try to block bu still its coming back. When i open direct it shows that i have to save it. really please somebody help me on this.

  3. I don’t have a BlackJack, neither Samsung i607. What I have is an Ericsson p1i. On this phone, it let’s me unsubscribe to these cell information and area information text messages. For this, I go to {Control Panel->Messaging->Area Information}, then I uncheck both Cell Information and Area information.


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