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Emergency Alert! Indian government sends alarm on millions of phones; what it means
The Indian government is once again sending an emergency alert to millions of phones. But do not spread panic. Just listen to your phone alarm blaring and stay calm because it's a routine.
On Tuesday morning, many mobile device users in India received an emergency alert from the government. The alert was sent around 11:35 with a flash message and an emergency tone on Android and iPhone devices. However, there is no reason to be alarmed. The alert was part of a test of the country's new emergency alert system, which is being implemented by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
The emergency alerts were sent to a random sample of smartphones across India and caused users' phones to beep loudly and display a flash message reading "emergency alert: serious." The message was sent twice, once in English and once in Hindi, a few minutes apart. According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the alert was part of a test to evaluate the effectiveness of the alert system and identify potential problems. The message was sent between 11:30 p.m. and 11:44 p.m. IST through the Cell Broadcasting System (CBS). The message informed recipients that this was a test and that no action was required.
"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 the National Disaster Management Authority. It aims to enhance public safety and provide timely alerts during emergencies. Timestamp: 10-10-2023 11:30 AM 11," reads the flash message.
In particular, CBS is a technology that allows mobile operators to send text messages to all phones in a specific area, regardless of which mobile network the phone is on. This makes it an ideal technology for sending emergency alerts. The NDMA is conducting these tests to ensure that the alert system works properly and can be used to reach people in the event of a real emergency. The tests also help the NDMA identify areas where the system needs to be improved.
A similar flash message was sent to many users a few weeks ago. The Department of Telecommunications Cellular Broadcasting System (DoT CBS) has announced that they plan to conduct similar tests periodically in various regions. These tests are intended to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of mobile operators' emergency alert transmission capabilities and cellular transmission systems.
C-DOT CEO Rajkumar Upadhyay previously reported that the technology for cellular transmission is currently only available through foreign vendors, so C-DOT is developing its own. He said cellular transmission is still in development, but NDMA will use it to send alerts directly to mobile phone screens during disasters. It is currently being tested on Jio and BSNL networks."The cell broadcast technology is under development and will be utilized by NDMA to send alerts directly to mobile phone screens during disasters. It is currently undergoing testing on the Jio and BSNL networks,” he told PTI.