On Thursday, 12 January, in the second and final reading, the Saeima supported an urgent amendment to the Civil Protection and Disaster Management Law, requiring mobile operators to ensure that early warning notifications are sent to citizens at the same time.
In order for early warning notifications to be sent simultaneously to citizens and the relevant authorities, electronic communications operators providing voice services will have to ensure compatibility and interoperability of their networks with the national early warning system using cell broadcasting technology. The transmission of early warning notifications by mobile operators will have to be carried out free of charge.
According to the changes, the State Fire and Rescue Service will be able to ensure early notification of the population through a mobile operator upon receiving information about threats of different nature or disaster situations.
The cell broadcast technology solution allows combining two functionally important elements of the early warning system — warning and information. In order to serve the national security and public safety interests in different risk situations, people in the threat territory will simultaneously be sent information to their mobile phones about the accident or threat, its cause, as well as information about steps to be taken. According to the explanatory note to the amended Law, it will be possible to implement the solution within a few minutes, regardless of the size of the threat area and the number of notification recipients in the territory.
Using the cell broadcast system, information can be sent simultaneously to a large number of mobile device users. This applies to all mobile phone users, regardless of the operator and type of connection, including tourists using roaming services. Information through cell broadcasting can be sent and received in several languages, without a time lag, and can also be provided in an appropriate way to people with hearing or visual impairments. The notifications appear on the mobile device with an audible signal.
Saeima Press Service