Emergency Messaging to General Public via Public Wireless Networks

Emergency Messaging to General Public via Public Wireless Networks

L-F Pau (Rotterdam School of Management, The Netherlands & Copenhagen Business School, Denmark) and P. Simonsen (Accenture Denmark AS, Denmark)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-609-1.ch012
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Abstract

Warnings to the broad population in an emergency situation, irrespective of location and condition, are a public policy responsibility. Public wireless networks offer now the opportunity to deliver emergency warnings in this way with explanations, because in many countries, the mobile penetration rates and coverage are higher than any other access form. This chapter summarizes the analysis of the selection process between short messaging services (SMS) and Cell Broadcast (CB) messaging in the context of Denmark based on end user requirements, stakeholder roles and case-based analysis. It demonstrates the many technical, cost-benefit, and other trade-offs needed in supporting the population now with a dependable and wide-spread technology. This research is the basis for a national policy.
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Scope And Background

This research and the resulting project therefore have first been triggered by the concept of using widely adopted modern ubiquitous personal communications and messaging facilities such as those offered by public wireless networks. Whereas wireless networks such as those based on TETRA have the same properties, they are conceived and used as private networks usually by the public authorities themselves. It should be highlighted that thanks to licensing requirements set by the national or multinational regulators, very high geographical coverage is granted in many countries, and wireless terminal penetration is very high.

The research has also been triggered by flaws found in Denmark by special interest groups in terms of the warning systems coverage in space and time, with the corresponding political and media outcry resulting from such issues being brought to the limelight. It was found that, after everything else possible had been done, there would still in Denmark be one out of thousand individuals, especially hearing impaired, who could not be warned with the planned national emergency resources (Beredskabsstyrelsen, 2005). Even if the terrain is not the issue in Denmark, just because of life behaviours, at any time 1/5 of the population are outside the range of the acoustic horns or not able to listen to radio/TV (Beredskabsstyrelsen, 2005). Also, it was found that over 60% of the population nowadays does not know the meaning of the emergency horns signals or do not react to them, as evidenced by the large flow of requests to emergency numbers after routine tests.

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