True Corporation’s emergency alert system unveiled

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Thailand’s True Corporation (True) conducted a successful live test of its new emergency alert system, the Cell Broadcast Service (CBS), marking a major step forward in national security.

True CEO Manat Manavutiveth declared that the system, developed in collaboration with key government agencies, signifies True’s commitment to building robust infrastructure for emergency communication. This innovative system has been crafted with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), and the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD).

Designed to align with Thailand’s national disaster alert policy and digital economy strategy, CBS aims to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 11: making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. This real-time alert system delivers critical information directly to mobile phones within affected areas, breaking language barriers by broadcasting in Thai, English, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian.

Manat said CBS categorises alerts into five levels:

  • National Alert: Immediate notification to everyone within the coverage area.
  • Emergency Alerts: Warnings about natural disasters and criminal threats.
  • Amber Alerts: Notifications about missing persons or abductions.
  • Public Safety: Alerts for specific areas like residential communities and travel routes.
  • Test Alerts: Used for system testing and verification.

“The adaptability of this system ensures that everyone receives critical updates during emergencies, promoting inclusivity and facilitating a faster, more coordinated response.”

Manat noted that CBS uses both audio signals and pop-up messages, supporting Text-to-Speech technology for visually impaired users.

Highlighting the rising frequency and severity of natural disasters due to climate change, the True CEO described CBS as a proactive measure to mitigate potential damage and loss of life, envisioning a safer environment for citizens and tourists.

“The successful testing of CBS paves the way for Thailand to adopt a standardised emergency alert system that aligns with international best practices.”

Regulatory framework

Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Prasert Jantararuangtong praised the smooth operation of the alert system during the test but acknowledged the need for discussions to develop a regulatory framework and clear roles for implementation.

“It is DES’ mission to coordinate with various agencies, ensuring every party has a clearly defined role without overlap.”

Prasert mentioned plans to consult the Interior Ministry on supervision and system operations.

With an initial budget of 434 million baht, supported by the NBTC Office’s Universal Service Obligation 3 fund, and an additional 1.2 billion baht for network providers’ systems, CBS is slated for nationwide rollout in the new year. Efforts are also underway to negotiate with Apple to enable CBS operation on iOS devices.

NBTC Chairman Sarana Boonbaichaiyapruck pledged to expedite funding and collaboration with all operators, ensuring the timely implementation of CBS to benefit everyone in Thailand, reported The Nation.

Bangkok NewsPolitics NewsTechnology NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

Related Articles