True Corp and AIS completed separate tests of an emergency alert system using a cell broadcast system, with plans to deploy across Thailand in cooperation with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and other government agencies.

In a statement, True explained it is negotiating with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the NBTC and the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation to launch a nationwide system to inform Thais about five levels of emergencies. The system it tested is compatible with Thai, English, Chinese, Japanese and Russian languages.

The cell broadcast system sends pop-up messages to handsets from nearby towers, targeting specific areas in emergency situations.

It differs from conventional SMS because it does not require a phone number and alerts are sent even if a device is off.

AIS noted in a separate release the alert system tested at NBTC’s office yesterday (5 March) is designed to pinpoint specific areas affected by urgent and critical incidents, connecting with the government’s central command centre.

The rollout of a location-specific nationwide emergency alert system is supported by the Universal Service Obligation and Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund.