Mobile phone users across India have reported receiving “emergency alert: severe” text messages as the Department of Telecommunication tests the emergency alert system. Users of Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio and BSNL have reportedly received these messages.
What Happened: Sent in both English and Hindi, The alert messages stated: “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.”
Several users on X, formerly Twitter, were confused about why they were receiving these messages on their phones.
What’s The Idea: Rajkumar Upadhyay, CEO of C-DOT, had previously said that such technology was being developed in India. This technology will likely be used by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to broadcast alerts directly to mobile screens during disasters.
Upadhyay had stated: “It will be implemented by the NDMA for broadcasting alerts at the time of disaster directly on mobile screens.” He had also said the technology was tested on the Jio and BSNL networks.
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The NDMA is now likely testing the emergency cell broadcast technology developed by C-DOT, which will send alert broadcast messages during natural disasters. These tests will assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the emergency warning broadcast technology and the capabilities of mobile operators and cell broadcast systems in different regions of India.
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