How about fleeting cell broadcasts?

How about fleeting cell broadcasts?
The day may not be far off when you will get a fleeting message on the mobile screen about a traffic jam in your vicinity or emergency alerts relating to natural calamities.

Telecom operators are evincing interest in cell broadcast technology developed by a city firm, which facilitates this. However, the operators would need the regulator’s nod before using it.

The cell broadcast system is similar to radio broadcasting and enables simultaneous delivery of the broadcast messages to multiple users of mobile networks.

However, it is different from an SMS in that it will appear as a scroll on the screen and disappear unlike an SMS which will stay in the inbox till deleted.

Besides, it is an application-to-person technology and could be sent from an operator to a person unlike an SMS which could be sent from a person to person, according to Debasis Chatterji, CEO of Netxcell. Also it was a one-to-many broadcast service, while SMS was a one-to-one service.


He told The Hindu here on Tuesday that a worldwide patent was filed last year for Cell Broadcasting Center (CBC) technology developed by his company. The unique aspect about the technology was that it provides for 95 characters. He said apart from India, the company was also looking to markets in Southeast Asian countries which were interested in using it for disaster management.

The cell broadcast service was site-specific and location-based and facilitates sending a single or binary text message to multiple mobile phones within an entire network area. When the mobile comes within the periphery of the broadcast service, the scroll aired by an operator would appear fleetingly on the screen.

Mr. Debasis said cell broadcast technology was being widely used in North America and South America for disaster control during typhoons and hurricanes. In many places it was also being used to provide entertainment and information services.

He said the Indian telecom operators were talking to different players although it was yet to be started in the country. This platform could be used by an operator to send news and other information like services, tariff plans and market a message instead of putting it up on a bill-board. It would help subscribers to get news, weather updates, stock quotations and information on movies, among others.


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