After 2:00 p.m., cell phones of people in the Madrid community began ringing loudly and persistently. It was prompted by a Civil Defense warning message warning residents not to drive and stay indoors due to torrential rains expected Sunday afternoon.
For a similar situation, this system is being used for the first time in the capital. It is part of a protocol designed to inform citizens in the event of special events, such as Hurricane Filomena or the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma.
How does it work? Notifications are sent by emergency response centers of autonomous communities coordinated by the National Center for Monitoring and Coordination of Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The system uses a technology the government calls “ES-Alert,” which is based on sending messages over the radio to all cell phones in range of the antenna that emits them. This implies several advantages of messaging over SMS technology, such as the fact that reception is instantaneous, it is not affected by the possible saturation of telephone networks due to an emergency, and it is not necessary to know the phone number of the recipient of the number. .
“ES-Alert technology, integrated into the national warning network, allows civil protection authorities to send generalized and immediate warning messages to mobile phones located in the area affected by an emergency or disaster,” says the civil protection.
This radio frequency warning system, known as cellular broadcasting or Mobile broadcasting, is used for public warning in many countries around the world, such as the United States, Canada, Japan, Chile or Peru. The EU asked its members to implement it by June 2022, when Spain finally activated it.
The public warning system was handed over to SIA, the cyber security company Indra, for €2.73 million from the recovery plan. As outlined in the BOE, the government used a accelerated competition Three companies were present. Among the award criteria, the most important factor was price, at 55%. Indra presented the cheapest offer.
Source: El Diario