Rainer Knirsch

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Telekom is ready for Cell Broadcast

  • Disaster warning system successfully tested
  • Test messages sent to smartphones in Germany
  • Nationwide warning day takes place on December 8 at 11 a.m.
Smartphone with a warning symbol and a radio tower broadcasting the warning message.

Telekom ready for Cell Broadcast. © DTAG

Telekom is ready to launch the trial operation of Cell Broadcast. The company has completed its preparations on schedule. The technology should be ready for the original warning day date of September 8. Telekom has successfully sent trial messages to smartphones nationwide in recent days. The roll-out of the new cell phone warning system in Germany has thus reached an important target mark. The nationwide warning day will take place on December 8.

Deutsche Telekom offers support to cell phone manufacturers

The DE-Alert technical guideline was issued and published by the Federal Network Agency at the end of February 2022. Telekom had already demonstrated Cell Broadcast to shareholders at its Annual General Meeting in May. Local tests had been taking place in the Bonn and Nuremberg areas since July.

Telekom tested the system with smartphones of various brands. The manufacturers have to activate Cell Broadcast for the respective models. Usually, this works with software or firmware updates. Telekom shares the experience gained from the tests with the manufacturers and provides support for necessary tests of the respective models.

Cell broadcast works like radio

The federal and state governments decided to introduce Cell Broadcast after the floods in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. In the future, the technology will complement the existing warning apps NINA or Katwarn. Cell Broadcast sends a text message to compatible cell phones. An app is not necessary for this. The special feature:  The warning reaches every device in a radio cell that is ready to receive and suitable for the technology. This works in a similar way to a radio station that all users listen to at the same time. This is where the English name "Cell Broadcast" comes from. Cell Broadcast is therefore particularly suitable for quickly informing the population of both local and supra-regional events.

In Europe, eight countries besides the Netherlands currently use text alerts, including the neighboring countries of Austria and Poland. Eleven EU member states inform the population via warning apps. Some EU countries already use a warning mix of apps and cell broadcast. 

About Deutsche Telekom: Deutsche Telekom at a glance

Timotheus Höttges auf der Hauptversammlung der Deutschen Telekom AG am 7.April 2022.

Cell Broadcast

Nach der Hochwasserkatastrophe im Ahrtal 2021 wurde der Ruf nach einer Ergänzung bereits verfügbarer Warn-Apps laut. Ende Februar 2023 hat die Telekom Deutschland den neuen Warndienst Cell Broadcast in ihrem Mobilfunknetz eingeführt.