December 8th: New warning technology is being tested – technology, data protection, feedback

You will soon receive a warning on your mobile phone, for which warning technology that is new in Germany is being used. That’s what’s behind it, and that’s why a federal agency is asking for your feedback.

On December 8, 2022, your cell phone rings at 11 a.m. We have already explained why this is the case: For this reason, on 8.12. all German cell phones. Because the next nationwide warning day will take place on December 8th, 2022 – the last warning day took place on September 10th, 2020 and was a huge disaster. He relentlessly exposed the shortcomings in the German disaster warning systems:

All sirens don’t wail, Nina doesn’t alarm

Warning day failed: head of civil protection must go

Germany gets new warning sirens for disaster warnings

Catastrophe warnings in the car: It won’t happen anytime soon

The warning day was originally supposed to take place on September 8th, but the interior ministers decided in July 2022 to postpone the warning day from September 8th to December 8th in order to be able to test the warning via cell broadcast for the first time. The knowledge gained in this way should then flow into the “live operation”, with which Cell Broadcast should be available from the end of February 2023. At the same time, cell phone owners should get to know the new warning system for the first time with a test message.

Your feedback is desired

The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance expressly asks the population for their feedback on the cell broadcast. Because this feedback is necessary for the optimization of the new warning technology. The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) therefore conducts a survey on the nationwide warning day and in the days that follow. You can take part in this survey on the website , in the warning app NINA , on the subpage for the nationwide warning day at and on the social media channels of the BBK.

According to the BBK, the warning day is the beginning of an “intensive operational test phase for the new warning channel Cell Broadcast”. In this test phase, full operation is not yet planned and not all mobile phone users in Germany will be able to receive a warning message via cell broadcast.

Privacy at Cell Broadcast

According to the BBK, the transmission of warning messages via cell broadcast is an anonymous method that uses the readiness to receive of the mobile device in a radio cell of the mobile network. In this way, mobile devices located in a potentially dangerous area can be radioed with a warning without prior registration or disclosure of personal data being necessary, as the BBK explains.

This is how cell broadcasting works

You don’t need an app for Cell Broadcast. The warning reaches every device in a radio cell that is ready to receive and is suitable for the technology. However, Germany is lagging behind in introducing cell broadcast as another warning channel. Because in Europe, in addition to the Netherlands, eight other countries are already using text warnings, including the neighboring countries of Austria and Poland, as reported by Telekom. Some EU countries also use a warning mix of apps and cell broadcast. You can read more about how cell broadcast works here:

Catastrophe warnings via SMS from summer 2022 – cell broadcast

Finally: Catastrophe warnings on mobile phones will come at the end of 2022 – the details

Deutsche Telekom and Cell Broadcast

Deutsche Telekom had been testing Cell Broadcast locally in the Bonn and Nuremberg area since July 2022. In the past few days, Telekom has then successfully sent test messages to smartphones in Germany. Thus, Telekom has completed its preparations, as the company announced.

Telekom tested Cell Broadcast with smartphones from different brands. To do this, the manufacturers must activate cell broadcast for the respective models. According to Telekom, this is usually done via software or firmware updates. Telekom then shares the experiences from the tests with the manufacturers and supports them with the necessary tests on the respective models.

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