Celltick’s Cell Broadcast Center (CBC) has been deployed by three mobile operators in Taiwan to deliver emergency warning alerts on 4G, 3G and 2G networks
San Francisco, Calif., – September 19, 2017 – Celltick, a global leader in mobile discovery and engagement products, announced today that its Cell Broadcast Center (CBC) platform for mobile mass alert has been adopted and deployed by 3 out of the 5 mobile operators in Taiwan – Taiwan Mobile, Taiwan Star and APT. Celltick’s CBC enables real-time and location-based warning messages in the event of emergencies, to Taiwan’s citizens.
Cell Broadcast (CB) technology allows for time-sensitive content on mobile devices, based on the device’s location. It provides proven capabilities to deliver CMAS emergency messages to cell phones in an affected area, regardless of the size of the area or the subscriber’s service provider. As cell broadcast is not limited by traffic loads, the system operates during disaster, when load spikes may jam the mobile networks. This capability ensures the delivery of messages to hundreds of millions of people at the time of need.
Equipped with advanced APIs for connecting to any kind of network as well as cell broadcast entities (CBE), Celltick’s technology enables federal and/or state authorities to send out urgent warnings, updates, and instructions in times of crisis, such as terror attacks, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. Messages can be sent to an entire city, county, region or state-wide even if the mobile network is jammed. The CBC also supports Active-Active fail-safe configuration to guarantee continuous functionality even in cases of equipment failure.
Cell Broadcast has been adopted worldwide as a next-generation wireless Public Warning System (PWS). Celltick’s CBC supports all advanced standards including CMAS, EMTEL, EU-Alert, and ETWS and therefore is ideal for service providers worldwide.
For Governments around the world, looking for an integrated cellular communication system, Celltick offers as a CBE its Alert Aggregator platform, to manage emergency events. The Alert Aggregator connects to all mobile operators’ CBCs in the country, and allows professional event management in a national/regional level.
“We’re seeing an increased demand, by governments worldwide, to facilitate Emergency Mass Alert systems to benefit and protect their citizens,” said Ronen Daniel, CEO of Celltick. “Taiwan is at serious risk of many categories of hazards including extreme weather, epidemics, geological disasters and warfare, hence they need to have the best-of-breed emergency notifications system. Celltick’s in-depth knowledge and experience in delivering dozens of similar projects assured a swift deployment, meeting all requirements.”
The CompuLert™ NEXGen™ Cell Broadcast Platform extends the capability of American Signal Corporations’ industry leading mass notification platform and provides cellular based mass notification capabilities. By implementing the 3GPP standards and as published by the governing organizations; the NEXGen Cell Broadcast Platform takes full advantage of the Commercial Mobile Alert System abilities. NEXGen™ Cellular Broadcast Platform leverages the mobile network service provider’s infrastructure, and the pervasive availability of end user cellular phone handsets, to deliver emergency information to targeted populations in a broadcast format.
There is no single method capable of providing 100% notification to the public in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. American Signal Corporation recognizes that an emergency communications system that utilizes every available channel to reach the public provides the greatest opportunity to save lives during an emergency and assist during recovery efforts after. CompuLert™ NEXGen™ is the only true multi-threat detection multi-channel mass notification system.
The CompuLert™ NEXGen™ Cell Broadcast Platform is implemented via the CompuLert™ NEXGen™ Platform configurations and additional NEXGen™ software modules. These software modules can be implemented independently on physical, or virtual, servers or collectively on a single physical, or virtual, server instance providing unparalleled scalability, availability, and fault tolerance.
CompuLet™ NEXGen™ Cell Broadcast Platform components:
NEXGen™ Intelligent Alerting Server
- The NEXGen™ Intelligent Alerting Server™ (IAS) is the mass notification systems server built to provide industry leading scalability and compatibility with diverse systems. The NEXGen™ IAS provides an intuitive user interface for emergency personnel and managers to define target populations using polygon, and other map tools, over dynamic map sources as well as selection of predefined groups and even the ability to create dynamic groups that are not referenced geographically. The NEXGen™ IAS also provides interfaces for communicating with numerous types of additional mass notification systems.
- The NEXGen™ IAS has the ability to also interface with numerous threat detection devices such as flood and rain sensors, wind sensors, CAP feeds, chemical and radiation detection and more. The NEXGen™ IAS is the only true multi-threat detection multi-channel mass notification server available.
NEXGen™ Cell Broadcast Entity
- The NEXGen™ Cell Broadcast Entity (CBE) interfaces with the Intelligent Alerting Server to receive data about the target population and the emergency message details. The NEXGen™ CBE provides data a message formatting for transmission to the Cell Broadcast Center. The NEXGen™ CBE and Intelligent Alerting Server are separate software modules. This architecture is advantageous in that it allows the NEXGen™ IAS to operate independently of the CBE should the client desire to monitor of control other systems without creating an overly complex CBE implementation.
NEXGen™ Cell Broadcast Center Server Interface
- In addition to the NEXGen™ Core, the Cell Broadcast Center Interface Server module provides an interface to the NEXGen™ Cell Broadcast Entity. The NEXGen™ Cell Broadcast Center Interface Server manages transmission of the CMAS messages to the service providers over the appropriate 3GPP technical standards as indicated in the CMAS Database. The modular architecture of the CompuLert™ NEXGen™ platform and the Cell Broadcast Center Interface Server provides scalability and simplifies the addition of new standards and technologies for the future. As networks are upgraded and new technologies are developed and implemented, new communications modules are created and can be added to the system while the system is in operation through the OSGI/NEXGen™ management console. The Cell Broadcast Center Interface Server receives the nightly updates from the service providers, validates the data, and updates the CMAS system database.
A new text message emergency alert system has already proven its worth during the rare “derecho” storms that swept across the East Coast in late July.
Barely into its first few weeks of service, the new CMAS alerts flashed on cell phones in the Elmira, New York area almost instantly after the National Weather Service issuing a tornado warning. Despite the fact that the area rarely experiences tornadoes, subscribers told the weather service that they took cover immediately.
“Your warning of a tornado imminent in my area of New York, sent 7/26/12 via text message to my cell, was invaluable! From the bottom of my heart- THANK YOU National Weather Service!”one woman wrote on her Facebook page.
Delivered over cell phones and other mobile devices, these alerts and warnings are free and targeted to specific locales. Consumers don’t need to sign up. They just need is a handset capable of receiving the emergency alerts and a carrier who voluntarily provides the service. Ask your carrier if they provide the service and whether your handset is CMAS-capable.
CMAS stands for Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) and the alerts that it issues are commonly known as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). Consumers should look for CMAS-compatible handsets or check whether they already have one. Many handsets were made to be compatible with CMAS well before the service was actually launched on April 7, 2012.
CMAS allows consumers to receive emergency alerts issued by Federal, state, tribal, territorial or local government agencies. Unlike other wireless alerting systems that deliver alerts based on subscriber billing information or zip code, CMAS delivers alerts to subscribers who are located within the targeted area of the alert. Thus, for example, if a subscriber resides in Washington, D.C., but is visiting New York City, he or she will receive a CMAS alert targeted to New York City. This feature allows government agencies to send alerts not only to subscribers who reside within the targeted area, but also those who may be visiting that area.
CMAS is a public-private partnership between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the wireless industry. The program was established pursuant to the Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act, which required the FCC to adopt rules allowing commercial wireless carriers to send emergency alerts to their subscribers. Wireless carrier participation in CMAS is voluntary. Carriers may choose to offer CMAS to subscribers within their entire service area, within portions of their service area, or not at all. CMAS is part of FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), a system that will allow consumers to receive emergency alerts over multiple communications platforms, including radio, television, cell phones and the Internet.
Although over 40 government agencies nationwide have signed up to send alerts to CMAS, NOAA’s NWS is currently issuing most of the CMAS alerts that have been sent thus far.
Here is additional information about CMAS:
« Free service. There is no charge to subscribers for receiving CMAS alerts or for government agencies to send alerts over CMAS. Government agencies, however, must sign up to use IPAWS in order to send alerts over CMAS. For further information on IPAWS, click [http://www.fema.gov/integrated-public-alert-and-warning-system%5D
« Short, basic information. CMAS alerts are only 90-characters in length and are designed to provide essential information about the imminent emergency. As a result, CMAS is designed to complement other types of alerting systems such as the Emergency Alert System.
« Appears like a text on the cell phone screen. CMAS alerts appear like text messages, but have a unique sound signal and vibration designed to get your attention.
« Only used for the most imminent and important emergencies. CMAS can be used for only three types of alerts: (1) alerts issued by the President; (2) imminent threat alerts – alerts that include severe man-made or natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, etc; and (3) Amber Alerts. In the case of imminent threat alerts — CMAS can be used only to warn of the most severe types of emergencies where there is an urgent need for the public to take responsive action. As a result, the CMAS has been designed to mitigate “over alerting” the public.
« Will not interrupt on ongoing phone call or downloads in progress. The CMAS alert will appear when you end your call or session.
« Cannot identify your phone number or location. CMAS cannot be used to track subscribers’ location or cell phone usage.
« CMAS is not offered by all wireless carriers and is not available on all cell phones. To receive a CMAS alert, your carrier must participate in CMAS in your area and your cell phone must be CMAS-capable. Some carriers, but not others, are participating in CMAS. In addition, some participating carriers are offering CMAS in some, but not all, of their service areas and on some of their cell phone handsets, but not others. Contact your carrier to find out if it participates in CMAS in your service area and if your cell phone is CMAS-capable.
Want more information? Check out:
FCC’s Consumer Factsheet http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cmas.pdf
FEMA’s CMAS Page http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/cmas.shtm
NOAA’s CMAS page http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/wea.html
CTIA – The Wireless Association®’s WEA website at http://www.ctia.org/consumer_info/safety/index.cfm/AID/12082
Florida officials completed the state’s first end-to-end cell broadcast technology pilot of the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) standard in a public/private partnership with Blackboard Inc., Alcatel-Lucent and CellCast Technologies.
The companies tested the CMAS standard by delivering emergency alerts to handsets on the MetroPCS wireless network throughout Florida’s Pasco and Polk counties, said Jim Johnston, operations coordinator for Pasco County. Johnston said the one-to-many technology can support the dissemination of imminent threat and presidential alerts, as mandated under the Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act of 2006.
“It is designed to let public officials send urgent messages to wireless users within range of a particular cellular antenna or wireless transmission system,” Johnston said.
CMAS will let federal agencies transmit alerts from the president, the National Weather Service and local emergency operations centers over the commercial network that will distribute the alerts to their customers via cell broadcast text messages. Brendan Cotter, a senior vice president for Blackboard, said cell broadcasting lets the company indentify a specific area and send a mass emergency notification through single or multiple towers and have them received via text message to anyone in that geo-targeted area.
“The beauty of that is that it allows us to target that individual without having to specifically know who he or she is,” he said. “So you can imagine as this evolves the impact this has to cities and states from being able to communicate to any transient visitor or tourist that happens to be in a specific area.”
As part of the pilot test, Cotter said the emergency message originated in its Blackboard Connect software notification system, passed through an identification process and then was transmitted though Alcatel Lucent’s broadcast message center to towers in the specific area tested. He said it then was delivered to handsets.
“It shows that this is the next emerging technology,” Cotter said of the pilot test. “It is more exciting to leaders in our country because it gives them a way to warn a mobile population.”
Johnston said the counties’ pilot was held in anticipation of meeting the FCC’s April 2012 deadline for the deployment of CMAS by the wireless industry and commercial providers who chose to participate voluntarily. While he expects most carriers will transmit emergency notifications, he emphasized they are not under a mandate to do so.
“The carriers were all asked to participate,” Johnston said. “Most carriers have agreed to participate. There’s an obvious reason to do it from a humanitarian standpoint as well as commercial applications developed along the way.”
Johnston said the pilot proved the CMAS standard and defined a timeline of between 2 and 10 seconds from sending an alert to receipt over the network to a mobile device. He said they found that the system will accept a message and display a message.
“We found this is the fastest, rapid way to get information out, uses the least of carrier infrastructure as compared to sending 10,000 messages on a wire line system that gets overloaded,” he said.
While the pilot was successful, the bigger question is how the public will be taught about the system and how they will perceive alerts, including whether or not they will take action. Johnston said it is important messages are defined and communicate valid information to the population affected.
“If I get a notice for a tornado warning that affects the other side of my county, do I really care other than as knowledge? If I get a notice for a warning that within 5 or 10 minutes that a tornado touchdown is possible, do the following … ,” Johnston said. “The latter alert tells me I need to do something now. That’s an imminent alert.”
Johnston said the public will ultimately pay for the text message, even through under the presidential directive it states the receiver cannot be charged. Some costs can be offset since the cell broadcast trunking has commercial applications. But government will have to pay the difference, which means tax dollars.
“We have to determine how to minimize that cost by offsetting it with commercial applications the carrier can benefit from as saleable products,” he said.
California and Sprint have officially joined forces to spearhead the nation’s first mass mobile alert system, which means warnings about terrorist attacks, wildfires, hurricanes, school shootings and other emergency situations could soon be at citizens’ fingertips.
The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) and Sprint announced Tuesday, Aug. 24, plans to deploy the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), a public safety tool that uses technology to deliver warnings and safety information via text alerts to wireless phones in specified areas. The first CMAS pilot program will begin in San Diego County this fall, in partnership with the county’s Office of Emergency Services (OES).
The CMAS technology works much like the emergency alerts broadcast on television or through land line phones. But the main difference is that emergency text messages will be sent to mobile phones in a defined geographic area, which could be as large as a county or city or as small as a few blocks.
For example, the emergency text alerts would come in handy for residents impacted by a mudslide or flood; students and faculty locked down on a campus due to a threat; mall shoppers or airport travelers in the vicinity of a suspicious package; or even sports fans leaving a stadium who need to know where to go if there’s a nearby highway accident or chemical spill. Focusing on target areas help emergency management officials reach the right people in precise locations, which stakeholders say could save lives and protect property on a local, state or national scale.
“California is proud to lead the country in having the ability to instantly alert residents via their mobile phones to an emergency or disaster specific to their current location,” said Cal EMA Secretary Matthew Bettenhausen in a release. “This technology, along with Sprint’s seasoned record of providing reliable wireless and network support during the state’s wildfires, floods and earthquakes will prove a tremendous resource to the country’s public safety and emergency management community.”
The announcement represents a big step for CMAS, a national program the FCC established in response to the 2006 Warning, Alert and Response Network Act to provide emergency information from federal, state and local officials about natural disasters, terrorist threats and other potential dangers. With the CMAS network, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be able to accept and aggregate alerts from the president of the United States, the National Weather Service, and state and local emergency operations centers.
But before the system can launch across the nation, the technology must be tested. Starting this fall, OES will assess the public safety tool across urban, suburban and rural areas with 100 phones distributed to law enforcement agencies, fire agencies and other partners. The technology may be available for public use in about a year, according to OES.
During the 2007 wildfires, the San Diego County OES was able to evacuate 515,000 residents, but this new technology will expand its reach to contact everyone in an impacted area, including tourists and visitors, according to Leslie Luke, group program manager at OES.
“In San Diego, a number of people come to visit us and go to the beach or come from out of state,” Luke said. “If they don’t have a hard line phone, we cannot reach them through normal channels and they may not have registered their cell phones. With this new system, we’ll be able to geocode a particular area and reach people based on cell towers, including tourists who may be here for business or pleasure.”
In the pilot, the alerts will be sent to Sprint over a secure interface, enabled by Alcatel-Lucent’s Broadcast Message Center, and then delivered to cell phones using the CMAS technology. Text-based CMAS alerts will also reach hearing or vision-impaired wireless customers through vibrations and audio signals.
SPATCH (The Hyde Company) announced today that it is collaborating with CellCast Technologies, LLC to offer a cell broadcast solution for rural and independent carriers to enable them to be compliant with the Federal Communications Commission for the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS).
CellCast Technologies, LLC provider of EAGLE Alerts™ for Message Origination and the patented CellCast Aggregator/Gateway™ that transmits alert messages in CAP v1.2 recently participated in the first successful “End-to-End” demonstration of CMAS technology in Florida. Prior to this demonstration, CellCast has successfully passed every test and evaluation from federal agencies.
SPATCH is pleased to partner with CellCast. SPATCH has already developed a proprietary Cell Broadcast Center (CBC) with a CMSP Gateway capability for rural CDMA carriers. Working closely with CellCast, SPATCH is offering a CMAS Solution for rural GSM carriers.
The CellCast “End-to-End” CMAS system will enable rural and independent wireless carriers to transmit alerts for public safety and emergency management agencies. Additionally, carriers will receive revenue by providing value-added services and from mobile marketing messages by commercial clients.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in accordance with the WARN Act of 2006, has established a timeline governing commercial deployment of CMAS by the wireless industry and alert service providers. The FCC released the CMAS architecture and standards in December 2009 and set an implementation deadline of April 2012 for commercial providers that choose to participate. CMAS is designed to allow public officials to send urgent messages to wireless users within range of a particular cellular antenna or wireless transmission system.