Smart spends P400M for disaster warning broadcast system
The flagship wireless unit of PLDT Inc. invested in broadcast technology that would allow “high-risk” communities to get timely alerts during calamities, a statement on Friday showed.
Smart Communications said P400 million was spent on a cell broadcast service or CBS. This would support the nationwide alert system of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
CBS technology enables the delivery of messages on a broadcast. This means one message can be sent to a large number of devices quickly and broadcast to all cell-broadcast enabled handsets within a designated target area.
Moreover, it enables location-specific emergency alerts without the need to register or track devices.
It also has the capability to deliver messages and alerts from NDRRMC or Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to visitors coming in from abroad and are located in the perimeter of the selected broadcast area where an emergency is imminent.
Ramon R. Isberto, Head of Public Affairs at PLDT and Smart, said CBS had its own dedicated broadcast channel, meaning broadcasting could be sustained “even when the network receives heavy traffic.”
“This is a major investment for Smart as we support the government in its call to further improve emergency communications systems amid the rising threat of disasters,” Isberto said.
“In times of emergencies and disasters, delivering quick and timely alerts to high-risk communities can help save lives. This technology will allow us to rapidly send out alert messages without using up network resources,” he added.
Testing of Smart’s CBS technology will start this month in Metro Manila. Full operations were expected by December this year. Other areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao would follow, Smart said in its statement.
Republic Act 10639 or the “The Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act” mandates all telecommunication services providers to send free mobile alerts in the event of natural and man-made disasters and calamities. RAM
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