Govt awards emergency mobile alert contract

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chile's government has awarded a contract for alerts to be sent to mobile phones in the case of an emergency to a consortium called Global Systems Chile, telecoms regulator Subtel said in a statement.

When determined necessary by national emergency office Onemi, the alerts will be sent - according to location and type of emergency - in an SMS-type format. The service is to be offered free of charge to users of Chile's five mobile operators. The message, with a 93-character limit, is sent on a frequency that is unaffected by mobile network congestion that typically occurs following an emergency, Subtel said.

The consortium - led by Israeli tech supplier eVigilo - beat out eight other competitors: Cellcast Technologies, Inex Americana, Indra Sistemas, Gallyas Servicio, Coasin Chile, Cia de Ingeniería de Sistemas, Sixbell andZTE.

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The system is slated to enter operations in December. In a second phase, with the deployment of digital TV, the emergency alert system will also be useable on televisions, said Subtel head Jorge Atton. A total 85% of the country is slated to have digital TV reception in three years, and 100% in five years.