Product: Cell Phone: Address Book
Network stored mobile phone address book   (+6)  [vote for, against]

A few years back, I lost my mobile phone and soon realised I'd lost a good number of my phone numbers along with it. This was, and still is, very frustrating.

My idea is to change the location of my mobile phone (cellphone) contact details thus ensuring that this could never occur again.

I propose that the numbers are stored on the phone network as opposed to my simcard or phone itself. I propose that these could be sent to the network via SMS - in much the same way as business cards can be sent currently.

Why bother? Here are some of the advantages as I see them.

1. You always have a copy of your contacts, even if the phone itself goes walk abouts.

2. Your network can personalise your phone bill. Instead of a meaningless list of numbers and costs, your network knows that 07980 xxxxxx is actually "Dave Smith" and displays this on your bill.

3. If you ever change handset, you will never have to go through the pain of typing the names and numbers back in - they were never there anyway.

4. If you've no mobile reception, call the network from a payphone or landline, select the name you want to call and the network puts you through. Maybe the network could even make it look like the call has come from the mobile.

Am sure you can think of other advantages to this system too. Cheers.
-- jonthegeologist, Jun 18 2003

orange service
in shop memory service. [etherman, Oct 17 2004]

Neat. +
-- krelnik, Jun 18 2003

Some of the newer phones allow you to store and synch your telephone address book to your computer. Of course, if this gets stolen too then you're out of luck.
-- Zanzibar, Jun 18 2003

One problem with the "sync with the computer" issue is getting the software and cable to do it. I investigated this for my phone, and the data kit cost more than the phone itself did. (WTAGIPBAN)
-- krelnik, Jun 18 2003

yep, I've thought about this before too. It's inspired. Be very useful for the handset to keep a local and remote copy of the numbers as you suggest. And also get the network to allow you to synchronise their server-side copy of your contacts with outlook /notes /whatever.

[jtg] - this rocks !
-- neilp, Jun 18 2003

btw - [krelnik] - the software would synchronise with the server (network) copy of the contacts, rather than the handset, so no cables required.
-- neilp, Jun 18 2003

Right, I was pointing out the cable cost as a disadvantage of Zanzibar's alternative, and thus an advantage of this idea.
-- krelnik, Jun 18 2003

Nifty as this is from a user perspective, I would *never* do it. Croissant for the creative idea though. (+)
-- Shz, Jun 18 2003

I want it right now. I say still keep the numbers on the phone as well, to save minutes and having to listen to voicemail, but sync them up whenever you add new numbers, or daily, or on power up or some such (further testing required). Have a biscuit.
-- oxen crossing, Jun 18 2003

The noises I get from my research (in mobile telecomms) is that a user will have a central database or 'virtual identity' accessible by a number of devices. The phone/addressbook, and no doubt billing information etc. , while not actually residing in the network, will be distributed. I reckon we'll see this idea baked, in some shape or form, pretty soon (+).
-- Jinbish, Jun 18 2003

// Sprint/PCI offers to store a spoken-name-to-number mapping on the network. //

As does AT&T Wireless.
-- waugsqueke, Jun 18 2003

// I reckon we'll see this idea baked, in some shape or form, pretty soon //

This is already baked in the form of "thin client" software for cellular-enabled PDAs, now in trial rollout on some 3G networks.
-- 8th of 7, Jun 18 2003

There are places that already do this, well not including the bill part, like and there is a new place.. cant think of the name, but you can call and like for 4.95 a month, ave free information and everything, and once they give you a number, it is stored in your account, and they dont ever charge you for that number again!!
-- rBg, Jun 21 2003

Better yet, users should be able to move from one phone to another interchangeably by either submitting a PIN or a better sim card to identify that Person XYZ is using Phone 123, rather than his normal phone of 421. In this way, if i run out of battery, I can always turn to a neighbor and ask to use his - but now I wouldn't have to use his minutes, just his battery life.
-- aramathea, Jul 16 2003

Have you tried ? We currently support back and restore of mobile address book details by SMS or via a web interface. It uses vCards for exchanging data so you can even bulk upload from your Palm Pilot or Outlook. We offer a free trial to test it works with your phone and pretty reasonable pricing (We think!)

We also let you send SMS messages online to your addressees at a saving.

Lots more interesting features to come like SyncML support, Group SMS Dave Durbin CTO SimStore
-- DaveDurbin, Sep 24 2003

Would this mean that annoying spam text messages could become personalised? Nice idea though.
-- Fishrat, Sep 25 2003

Well baked by Orange in the UK. My Treo has a single button contacts backup on it which sends all of the data to their server. Sorry to break it this way, you know, it's not you, it's me ...
-- geeza, Jan 15 2004

[geeza], being able to back them up is by no means the same as storing the data server side, and wouldn't give benefit (2) [jtg] lists (or wouldn't unless you kept it up to date). Besides, the backup is notoriously flaky (speaking as an Orange SPV user) so wouldn't trust it with contact numbers for anyone I actually wanted to keep in touch with.
-- neilp, Jan 15 2004

you could try for either vCard or syncML backup & restore of mobile phone book. it works reliably for me on vodafone.
-- bobuncle, Jan 15 2004

I haven't read all the comments, so this may have been covered; just make it a feature of the charging cradle to back up and net-sync your info everytime you charge.
-- Freefall, Jan 15 2004

I can synch and charge my phone to my laptop via USB. My MS Outlook is web hosted so I can synch via Laptop when connected to the Net. The phone can also (just been set up!) synch directly to hosted outlook (Contacts, Inbox, tasks) via MIS (Mobile Information Service) provided by the ISP.
As many have said - baked in the near future but still a good idea at the time.
-- gnomethang, Feb 03 2004

[gnome] The network of gadgets you have does solve the problem, but only if you remember to sync everything. My idea works all the time as the address records are always stored remotely and don't have to be sync'd there.

As you say, its not far away this idea.
-- jonthegeologist, Feb 03 2004

True enough. The new phone has gone down and I am using an old Motorola timeport with the SIM card from the new phone. Guess where the phone numbers weren't stored!. Guess which phone can't access the web to retrieve or synch or anything?.
-- gnomethang, Feb 03 2004

[gnome] I know what it's like ... the quicker someone builds this solution the better.
-- jonthegeologist, Feb 03 2004

We have the solution...Website which wirelessly sucks the numbers from your phone (most makes and models) and holds them for edit or download within a private webpage on your behalf. Idea baked January 2002!! It's complete and its sooo sweet....anybody interested? We need sponsors, marketing advice, we need VC and we need it all now. Contact
-- Pmania, Feb 15 2004

[pmania] nice plug. I'm not advocating a service which takes the numbers from the phone and stores them (effectively a replication service), I'm talking about them being stored on the network, with possible replication back to the phone. Your idea doesn't deliver the possibilies outlined above .. unless I've misread it.
-- jonthegeologist, Feb 16 2004

*coughs* where [etherman]. certainly not widely known by me? Evidence?
-- jonthegeologist, May 18 2004

the system is run by orange (I use it) and I think is being introduced by O2. It certainly covers points 1, 2 and 3 but I'm not sure about 4. <link>
-- etherman, May 18 2004

And don't say Orange and their ability to back all your numbers up from the phone at the orange shop. God isn't advertising insidious that information has wormed its way into my head from the infomercial at cinemas about turning your phone off.

Damn he said Orange whilst i was typing this.

Add cross network and platform abilities and this would be a flyer, better yet would be a plaxo style system, a lot of my friends change mobile numbers every year or so as contract expire or better deals appear.
-- engineer1, May 18 2004

gotcha. whats the problem with orange?
-- etherman, May 18 2004

The tie in with cinemas i have seen the Don't let a mobile ruin your film thing too bloody often.
-- engineer1, May 18 2004

well I went to see Troy last night and I was praying a mobile would go off to cover up the APPALLING dialogue. it was all greek to me... haha..I'll get my coat.
-- etherman, May 18 2004

[etherman] where your link and this idea differ is that this is something that is inherent in the phone and network.

The Orange link states that you take the phone into a shop and have the numbers backed up - with this idea, this happens as a matter of course.

It also doesn't appear to deliver options 2 or 4 - although I accept that it could. Suggest this still is not baked.
-- jonthegeologist, May 20 2004

[etherman] to re-iterate, this idea is not baked (apart perhaps from [waugs] AT&T suggestion, which I can't find more evidence of).

What [jtg] suggests is having a network operator store name/number information at the server/billing side of their network. There are loads of services (syncML, activesync, OTA sync on 3G) which will allow you to synchronise (or just back up a la Orange UK) to either outlook, the web, a sim card, a memory stick but none that do it as a network service, which is where it would be most useful to do it.
-- neilp, May 20 2004

[etherman] perhaps you could remove your [M-F-D]
-- neilp, May 20 2004

02 have a backup system that appears to fulfil some of the requirments, i'm not looking up all the details as you need to register. And besides all my numbers are backed up on my trusty laptop connected via a very old tech cable.
-- engineer1, May 21 2004

good idea i would love the ability to edit my phonebook with an online interface and then have it syncronize back to my phone wirelessly, but more importantly, transparently to the user
-- thejaredfanclub, Jan 14 2005

Gr8! People can even share the "same telephone book".. i update my friends phone number when it changes, all have the updates automatically facilities to synchronise with Ximian Evolution or other contacts book, yahoo google address book on pc would just be great!
-- kamathln, Feb 05 2005

The wife's Motorola StarTac (yes, still works) stores its address book on the network, as far as I can tell. I could be mistaken, but it sometimes says "network busy" when trying to access contact numbers.
-- david_scothern, Feb 05 2005

(I still use my StarTac because it still works, even after it went through the laundry. I've switched carriers and not lost the address book. I don't think it's stored externally.)
-- half, Feb 05 2005

Good idea of backup systems for mobile phones
-- mobdir, May 06 2007

random, halfbakery