Alerts to the population via mobile phones will move from SMS to mobile broadcast – it’s a faster and more efficient system

Portugal will have a new system of warnings to the population in case of adverse events, such as bad weather or fires in rural areas, based on mobile network technology that is faster and more effective than current SMS messages.

The decree aimed at implementing the cell broadcast warning system (“cell broadcast”), a technology that allows emergency alerts to be sent to thousands of users simultaneously in a few seconds, was published today in the Diário da República.

The document, signed by the ministers of Interior Administration, José Luís Carneiro, and Infrastructure, João Galamba, specifies that the National Authority for Emergencies and Civil Protection (ANEPC), the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Interior Administration (SGMAI) and the National de Comunicações (ANACOM) to initiate actions to establish a “cell emission” warning system.

For this purpose, these three bodies must deliver to the Government, by June, a report with the conclusions of the work and the formulation of proposals.

According to the decree, ANEPC, SGMAI and ANACOM must identify the limitations associated with the implementation and propose appropriate measures for the corresponding solution, determine the needs for technological “upgrade”, assess the need to change the legal framework, to present a timetable. , with the list of actions that will be developed, for the implementation process and to arrive at an estimate of the necessary financial investment.

Since 2018, the Civil Protection has a preventive warning system of the population via SMS (sms via mobile phone), which is sent to citizens located in the areas where the adverse weather phenomenon occurs.

The “cell broadcast” system allows emergency alerts to be sent to all mobile networks, 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G, does not cause saturation of the mobile network, is received according to the citizen’s location at the given time, reaches visitors from other countries in the affected region, in the desired language and in near real time (4 to 10 seconds).

In the decree, the government states that the National Strategy for Preventive Civil Protection 2030 stipulates that, until 2027, high-range technological solutions are used, taking into account the increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and the importance of strengthening warning mechanisms and early warning for emergency situations.

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