Thailand speeds up warning system after Siam Paragon shooting

Photo: Times of India.

Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister confirmed the development of a cell broadcast (CB) emergency warning system. Set to be ready for deployment within the next six months to a year, the system is a collaborative project coordinated by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), in liaison with mobile service providers.

The decision to develop this CB system comes in the wake of a fatal shooting at the Siam Paragon shopping mall. The incident, which claimed two lives and injured five others, highlighted the urgent need for an effective public warning system.

The CB technology, chosen for its ability to transmit emergency warnings to all devices connected to mobile networks within a specified area, is currently under development and testing.

Location-based service (LBS) emergency warnings yesterday were also trialled by teams from Advanced Info Service (AIS) and True Corporation at the Government House. However, Minister Prasert Chantararuangthong noted that the LBS alerts took time to process, reported Bangkok Post.

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As part of the emergency preparedness measures, the DES Minister has proposed the establishment of a national warning centre to enhance public awareness in emergency situations. The responsibility of managing this proposed body will be decided by Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.

Trairat Viriyasirikul, Deputy Secretary-General of the NBTC, affirmed the imminent submission of the CB warning system to the NBTC board for consideration.

Wasit Wattanasap, who heads AIS’s nationwide operations and support business unit, detailed the workings of the LBS system.

Upon receiving an alert from the command centre, the centre determines the cell site coverage in the area and sends an SMS notification to mobile phones. The notification directs users to a message containing relevant information concerning the incident, including hotlines and safety tips.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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