Government Launches Emergency Alert System for Dissemination of Important Real-time Messages

The Government today (26 November 2020) launched the emergency alert system (EAS). Government departments may disseminate important real-time messages to mobile phone users through the EAS during emergency situations that may extensively endanger lives and properties.

The EAS, which employs cell broadcast service technology, could disseminate real-time messages to mobile phones connected to mobile networks. A message is classified as either "Emergency Alert" or "Extreme Emergency Alert" according to the severity of the incident concerned. During emergency situations, such as extreme weather that causes extensive infrastructure damage, major public safety incidents or large-scale public health emergency situations, etc, government departments may disseminate messages using the system to remind members of the public to take contingency measures immediately.

No personal data will be involved and no additional charges will be levied on mobile service users for receiving EAS messages. Currently, mobile phone suppliers of different brands are gradually releasing updates of firmware or operating systems for various mobile phone models to support the operation of EAS. A spokesman for the Government recommended members of the public to download and install such updates on their mobile phones as appropriate.

For details of the EAS and phone models that support the system, please visit the OFCA's webpage.

While adopting the EAS, the Government would continue to use other existing channels (such as radio, television and social media) to disseminate important information to the public.

Commerce and Economic Development Bureau
(Communications and Creative Industries Branch)
Office of the Communications Authority
26 November 2020