Berlin, 9th August 2016: Security cannot be taken for granted. This has become apparent in recent days, weeks and months. Terrorism, mass killings and natural disasters can happen at any time and anywhere. Prevention and preparation are therefore just as important as concrete courses of action and action plans in the event of an emergency. This includes a reliable public warning system, as well as fail-safe communication devices and services, in order to ensure that citizens and emergency services can be contacted and alerted reliably. The necessary infrastructure is available, it just needs to be used responsibly, purposefully and efficiently.
“It is our job to guarantee security - every day,” says Dr Dietmar Gollnick, CEO of e*Message Wireless Information Services Deutschland GmbH. The Berlin mobile network operator maintains Europe’s largest security radio network: a satellite-based radio network with around 800 transmitting stations throughout Germany, independent of public mobile networks which are prone to break down. It allows alerts and warnings to reach all recipients simultaneously - regardless of whether the group comprises 10, 10,000 or 10 million people. In this way authorities, institutions and emergency units are able to “get ahead” of the situation with alerts and information, even before they are influenced or distorted by social media channels.
“Recent events have shown that we cannot rely on only one communication technology,” says Gollnick. Disaster alert systems like “Katwarn” or mobile phone apps like “Nina” are definitely big improvements when it comes to alerting the public, but they cannot be the only solution. When the Munich shooting took place, “Katwarn” reached its capacity limits and “Nina” was forced to refer to Munich police channels due to technical problems. A consistent and stable second communication infrastructure would ensure communication security in such critical cases - and it has already existed for years.
e*Message’s security radio network allows alert and warning services to be installed and utilised which can provide reliable warnings and information throughout Germany: e*BOS provides an optimum radio service which guarantees that fire services and non-police emergency units are alerted immediately and simultaneously. e*Warn has become an established preventive information and warning solution: Collaborating with the federal and state system MoWaS (Modular Warning System), which has replaced SatWaS (Satellite-based Warning System), the solution ensures that both the population and specialised workers are reliably alerted independently of general network structures - either across the whole region or to the exact house number.
The so-called “wake-up call”, a clear audible warning, is important here. Now that almost all public warning sirens throughout Germany have been done away with, there is a deficit which could be offset quickly. The warning solution e*Warn is able to use mini warning sirens, pager devices or specifically equipped tablets to send reliable alerts in public buildings and institutions in the event of an emergency: head officials, head teachers, heads of authorities, hospital staff or emergency unit team leaders can thus be alerted early and initiate targeted measures, even if public mobile networks fail, are not accessible, have limited operation or actually have to be switched off. Or if a “confidence seal” is crucial for the warning, in order to avoid misleading information and false alarms spreading through fake news and misinformation as recently happened in Munich.
Cooperation with authorities, institutions and aid workers
e*Message has been collaborating with official and institutional civil protection and disaster management units, as well as rescue workers, aid workers and initiatives. It works closely with the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (operator of “Nina”) and the Fraunhofer developers of “Katwarn”. After all, it is only collectively that the high level of security required for reliable and effective public alerts can be guaranteed.
This can also be done via smoke alarms: since 2012, it has been possible to fit the devices with a warning chip which audibly alerts and awakens every household in cases of emergency. Albrecht Broemme, President of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), supports the initiative to use paging technology “for controlling smoke alarm devices as well, in order to improve public alerts.”
Since 2015, security solutions in Germany are specially labelled with the new quality seal “Safety made in Germany” (SMG). e*Message is among the first five holders of the quality seal in the country. The seal is awarded by the German Fire Protection Association (vfdb) for excellent products and services in the German security industry. e*Message received the seal for the quality of e*BOS and e*Warn.
The e*Message Wireless Information Services GmbH (e*Message Europe) operates Europe’s largest security radio network. As one of four mobile network operators on the German market, e*Message maintains a satellite-based radio network with around 800 transmitting stations throughout Germany which is independent from public networks. e*Message provides specialised messaging services focusing on security, mobile organisation solutions and integrated solutions. This allows individuals and groups (e.g. doctors, authorities, fire services, winter maintenance services, service personnel) to be notified, warned and alerted reliably, quickly and accurately via digital devices. Established in December 1999, e*Message took over both the Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom’s paging services in 2000 and has been developing them continuously. The corporate group’s operating centres are located in Berlin and Paris. (www.emessage.de)
e*Message Wireless Information Services Deutschland GmbH
Schönhauser Allee 10-11
Tel: +49 30 4171-0
Fax: +49 30 4171-1933
Hoschke & Consorten Public Relations GmbH
Tel: +49 40 36 90 50-38