The Digital Economy and Society Ministry (DES) along with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), has taken immediate action to implement a targeted emergency alert system, utilizing cell broadcast technology.
The DES Minister Prasert Chantararuangthong said the Prime Minister expressed concerns regarding the shooting incident at the Siam Paragon Mall, particularly regarding the effectiveness of targeted emergency alerts in cases of emergencies or disasters.
In response to this, the DES Ministry has taken quick measures to improve the emergency alert system. The existing location-based service (LBS) SMS system, which was previously insufficient in coverage and efficiency, will be enhanced to cover the entire country effectively within one month.
Moreover, the cell broadcast system, which is more efficient than SMS, will be used for targeted emergency alerts. This system allows for immediate notifications and offers various alert methods, such as vibrating mobile phones and pop-up messages on communication devices. The Cell Broadcast system is now in technical preparation, and the NBTC and service providers will work rapidly to expand its usage.
Cell Broadcast is a direct messaging system from broadcast signal towers to mobile phones and communication devices within the coverage area. It allows for quick and comprehensive information dissemination without requiring phone numbers or the need to download specific applications, making it faster than SMS.
In contrast, the traditional SMS-based emergency alert system is less efficient, taking approximately 15-20 minutes to process and additional time to send messages to all targeted recipients, especially in densely populated areas.
To implement the Cell Broadcast-based emergency alert system, equipment and software must be installed. The NBTC will coordinate with telecommunications service providers to ensure a swift and comprehensive rollout nationwide. Funding for this initiative will come from the Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund. (TNA)