SMS emergency notifications in the regions are being launched. How RSO works and how to register
SMS notifications of threats in the regions are launched. How RSO works and how to register?
July 1, 2022. Ministry of Administration and Digitization introduces SMS to the Regional Warning System service. Starting today, the most important warnings about local natural disasters and emergencies will arrive directly on residents’ phones.
Andrzej Ogonowski, an SMS market expert at SMSAPI, a company that provides a platform that facilitates communication via SMS, MMS and VMS, answers questions that arise about how the system works.
What to do to start receiving SMS alerts about threats in the region?
To launch SMS notifications, the Ministry of Administration and Digitization has reached agreements with the four largest mobile operators operating in Poland: Orange, Play, Plus and T-Mobile. This means that people with a phone operating on the aforementioned networks (no matter if it’s a subscription or pre-paid) don’t have to do anything to receive such notifications, explains Andrzej Ogonowski.
What kind of threats we will be informed about by SMS?
According to the MAC’s announcements, SMS is designed to communicate the most serious threats, where response time matters. It is about e.g. about messages about heavy rain or snowfall, hurricanes or floods, as well as other messages directly related to security and the lives of the public, Ogonowski enumerates.
Is it possible to unsubscribe from SMS notifications from RSO?
You can unsubscribe from notifications from the RSO system. All you have to do is go to the nearest showroom of your carrier and ask to disable the service. Given that such information can save our health or lives, however, I would urge you to leave your number in the system, the expert advises.
Since the number is assigned to a particular province, the system only warns residents. What about tourists staying e.g. in the mountains?
The location of the recipients of SMS messages is determined by the BTS transmitters in whose ranges cell phones are located. In a situation in which we find ourselves, for example. within the range of three transmitters, it is possible to geolocate up to a few meters, explains Andrzej Ogonowski.
Whether systems other than the RSO for SMS notification of residents work?
There are many systems independent of RSO. SMSAPI provides such services in Katowice, Warsaw, Ruda Śląskie and dozens of other cities, counties and municipalities. People who sign up to the database (most often it is enough to provide only their phone number), choose what type of information they would like to receive (traffic situation, cultural events). SMS is free for residents.
The cost of the service is borne by the municipality, but it is not high considering the speed of outreach and the high efficiency of communication through this route, says Ogonowski.