Hanover, March 19. The European paging operators and two industry associations today announced the formation of a task force aimed at the large-scale implementation of a highly effective population alerting programme to prevent and minimize human casualties and material damage in case of public emergencies.
The programme, known as “Professional Alerting of Population” (PAP), is sponsored by the public paging operators in the UK, France and Germany, and by the Wireless Messaging Association (WMA) and the European Mobile Messaging Association (EMMA). Other network operators, telecommunications equipment manufacturers and governmental agencies will be joining later this year.
“In these times of grave threats from terrorism, ever increasing dangers from natural disasters, and huge industrial accidents, there are more compelling reasons than ever to provide local, regional and national warnings to the population,” said Dr Dietmar Gollnick, CEO of e*Message Group Europe, a leading provider of mobile messaging in France and Germany.
According to Derek Banner, Chairman of the UK-based WMA, the requirements of a service for alerting the population in times of danger are the following:
“The PAP programme will fulfil all these requirements, thanks to the proven paging technology used and the solid experience of our members,” said Jacques Couvas, Chairman of the Geneva-based EMMA. “The European Mobile Messaging Association fully supports this initiative and we expect that more than 20 operators and solution providers will participate in the project. The terrorist attacks against the Spanish railways illustrate once more that no country is immune against major disasters,” Couvas concluded.
EMMA, WMA and e*Message have agreed to present the PAP initiative jointly to the responsible regional, national and EU agencies. A white paper on “Professional Alerting of Population” is in preparation to initiate the lobbying process in Brussels. The PAP proposal calls for mobile warning services which would reach 50% of the population within two years. The PAP services provided by the partners would cover almost all of France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with other European partners, almost the whole of Europe could be covered easily and inexpensively.
The European Mobile Messaging Association (EMMA) has 45 corporate members in 26 countries, including Europe’s major telecommunications companies. The Wireless Messaging Association (WMA) represents paging operators and manufacturers in the UK, including Multitone, Vodafone, O2, PageOne and Tecnomen.