Thailand gets ready to deploy cell broadcast system for emergencies

Thailand gets ready to deploy cell broadcast system for emergencies

Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) has reportedly finalised its proposal to deploy a cell broadcast emergency warning system later this year to be used during disasters, terrorist attacks or civil unrest.

According to the Bangkok Post, DES minister Prasert Jantararuangthong said on Monday that the ministry will send its plan to the cabinet next month for approval.

A top issue will be the cost of implementation and who pays for it. Prasert said that the DES may need around 400 million baht (US$11 million) to set up a central cell broadcast entity. The DES is proposing that the cost be covered by National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission fund, the report said.

Meanwhile, mobile operators Advanced Info Service (AIS) and True/Dtac may have to spend 300 million baht each to install their own cell broadcast centre for the system, which would take over six months, the report said.

The cabinet would also have to decide whether the agency in charge of actually running the system during emergencies would be under the DES or the Interior Ministry's Disaster Mitigation Centre.

The DES proposed establishing a cell broadcast system in October 2023 following a shooting at Siam Paragon Mall in which two people were killed and five others injured.

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