Cell broadcast: Germany-wide test planned for mobile phone warning system

In a few months there will be a test run for the mobile phone warning system Cell Broadcast in Germany.

According to the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK), the test for the mobile phone warning system Cell Broadcast is to be carried out in Germany next autumn. Unlike warning systems such as Katwarn or Nina, people who do not use a smartphone are also reached, as Spiegel reports.

Germany is late

An exact start date is still pending, but it is probably September 2022, according to a spokeswoman for the BBK when asked by Spiegel. This date was specified again by Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG, at the Annual General Meeting in early April – it should therefore be September 9, 2022. After that, there would still be time until February 2023 for the transition to regular operation, when the security guidelines set by the Federal Network Agency should also be implemented so that no false warnings can be sent via the system.

The only drop of bitterness: With this schedule, Germany is not adhering to the deadlines that were probably set by the EU. According to this, the system should actually be operational by June 21st. According to the BBK spokeswoman, it is now important to “transition from test operation to active operation” as quickly as possible. At least the modular warning system and the interfaces to the mobile phone operators should be in place by June 30th.

Pressure from last summer’s flood disaster

With the cell broadcast warning system, the warnings are sent as a push message to all users who are registered in a specific radio cell. This means that theoretically every cell phone can be reached and thus significantly more than would be possible with smartphone warning apps; these must also be installed first.

Countries like Japan, Bangladesh, the USA and the Netherlands are already using it quite successfully. Since the flood disaster last summer, in which more than 180 people lost their lives, Germany too has wanted to introduce the system as quickly as possible. At that time, it was criticized that people were warned much too late and not urgently enough about the impending flood.

For more information on the topic, see our articles below:

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