Lubrizol: the State confirms the deployment of the “Cell Broadcast” alert system within two years

This SMS-like system has been around for a long time and is used in many countries… but not in France.

Traveling to Rouen, a year after the Lubrizol disaster, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin on Thursday September 24 said that a new warning system, better suited than the traditional sirens, will be developed in France by June 2022.

The Cell Broadcast ”is an old technology, which has been around for 20 years. The very first demonstration was made in France in 1997. However, our country has never used it, although it is in service in the United States, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain. , in Finland or even in South Korea.

A message on mobile phones

This system makes it possible to send messages resembling SMS to the mobile phones of all the people in a particular area around a telecom antenna (cell). This allows residents to be warned in the event of climate alerts such as a tornado or tsunami, environmental alerts such as a dam failure or pollution, and even for kidnapping alerts (Amber Alert in the United States).

The system has many advantages. No need to know the numbers of the recipients since the messages are sent to all connected devices, whatever they are, new or old, and whatever the operators, including for foreign subscribers passing through a region.

Expensive technology

However, Cell Broadcast has some pretty heavy infrastructure updates, both on the operator side and on the state service side. A first deployment attempt took place in 2012 but the project was unsuccessful. Instead, France preferred to develop, in 2016, after the Paris attacks, the famous SAIP mobile application. Unfortunately, this proved to be ineffective after having experienced several hiccups. She was arrested in 2018.

The government’s announcement on Thursday is in fact a confirmation since a 2018 European directive obliges states to implement cell broadcasting in member states by 2022.

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