DoT tests new mobile technology to send alerts on potential disasters in Odisha

The new alert system is a state-of-the-art technology that allows critical and time-sensitive messages for disaster management to be sent to all mobile devices within a designated geographical area.
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

BHUBANESWAR: Mobile subscribers in Odisha were jolted as their phones suddenly blared out a siren at around noon on Monday. The phones then displayed a pop-up message stating this was an emergency public alert on disasters being tested by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), calming the nerves of the people.

The message was sent twice, once in English and then in Odia, a few minutes apart. The tests were carried out in presence of representatives from the state disaster management authority.

Deputy director general (technology), DoT, PVB Prasad said the message was sent through the cell broadcasting system that allows mobile operators to send text messages to all phones irrespective of the mobile network.

“The tests were conducted to gauge the effectiveness and efficiency of emergency alert broadcasting capability of the system, involving various mobile operators. It makes the system an ideal technology for sending emergency alerts,” he said.The new alert system is a state-of-the-art technology that allows critical and time-sensitive messages for disaster management to be sent to all mobile devices within a designated geographical area.

The system will be utilised by government agencies to inform people about potential threats and keep them informed during critical situations like cyclone, tsunami, flash flood and earthquake, public safety messages, evacuation notices, and other critical information.

Director (technology), DoT, Odisha Circle, Pankaj Chand said more than 99 per cent users have received the message and why the remaining users did not get the message is being looked into. “This could be due to handset issues. Some old handsets may not have the emergency alert system activated. We will find the cause and resolve it,” he said and confirmed that it has nothing to do with the technology of the new alert system. The state has around 4.2 crore active SIM cards.

The pop-up

This is a sample testing message sent through cell broadcasting system by Department of Telecommunication, Government of India. Please ignore this message as no action is required from your end. This message has been sent to test pan-India emergency alert system being implemented by national disaster management authority. It aims to enhance public safety and provide timely alerts during emergencies

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