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Thai operators, AIS and True Corp, announced that they are preparing to launch an emergency cell broadcast service commissioned by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). The cell broadcast service is intended to quickly identify specific areas impacted by urgent and critical incidents such as violence, shootings, and natural disasters.

The service is divided into two parts: a Cell Broadcast Entities (CBE) system, which is managed and overseen by the government's central command center; and a Cell Broadcast Center (CBC) system, which is managed and monitored by mobile operators.

The CBE system defines message content and delivery areas, which include functions such as system management, message creation, and approval. The CBC system is in charge of delivering message content to base stations based on predefined areas, which include system management and configuration, message deployment, and network management.

The cell broadcast service will send direct warning messages from area base stations to all mobile phones in the region. The message appears on the mobile phone's screen as a near-real-time triggering pop-up notification.

The system differs from regular SMS in that it does not require phone numbers, allowing for faster and more efficient communication of emergency information throughout the affected area. This also means that the public is not required to download any specific applications. Additionally, users will receive messages even when the device is turned off.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) first proposed establishing a cell broadcast system for emergency alerts in October 2023, following a shooting at Siam Paragon Mall that killed two people and injured five more. Since then, the NBTC has worked with DES, DDPM, the Royal Thai Police, and mobile operators to develop the system.

AIS recently presented its cell broadcast service at the NBTC office, garnering approval from Clinical Professor Sarana Boonbaichaiyapruck, Chairman of the NBTC. Boonbaichaiyapruck deemed the results satisfactory, indicating a positive step forward in AIS's telecommunications offerings.

“The latest testing of this technology has successfully achieved its intended goals, and we are ready to expand its integration with the country's emergency alert system efficiently going forward,” said AIS head of business relations, Waroonthep Watcharaporn.

Furthermore, True Corp announced that it was ready to support the service, having successfully tested it on January 15. True also said its system supports five languages: Thai, English, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian.

“Currently, negotiations are underway with the government to put this system into practice… Marking a first step of success for True Corp in developing and cooperating towards the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the NBTC, and the DDPM for immediate deployment,” said Chakkrit Urairat, True Corp’s chief corporate affairs officer.

NBTC’s Sarana said in a joint statement with AIS that funding for the system would be supported by the Universal Service Obligation (USO) and Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund.

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