Many smartphones remain silent despite cell broadcast

DThe expectations for the second warning day since reunification were low anyway. This was ensured by the first warning day on September 10, 2020, which passed silently by many citizens. It was therefore no surprise that the President of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK), Ralph Tiesler, announced after the nationwide test warning on Thursday: “According to preliminary findings, the nationwide warning day 2022 was a success! The interaction of the individual systems worked. “

Tiesler ignored the fact that numerous cell phones had not received any warnings about the new cell broadcast method. In order to receive the warning punctually at eleven o’clock, according to information from the BBK and the mobile phone provider, a current operating system (from Android 11 onwards or from iOS 15.6.1 on) and mobile phone reception must be sufficient. Because the test alert was sent at the highest alert level, it should have reached devices that block test alerts by default.

But Telekom customers in particular complained on Thursday that their cell phones had remained silent. A spokesman for the group ruled out overloading the Telekom network. He explained: “An overload could not be detected during and immediately after the warning.”

failures in communication

When asked about other possible reasons for the lack of warnings, a spokeswoman for the BBK said: “We have no information on that.” She admitted to failures in communication in the run-up to the warning day. The BBK had informed the citizens that radio and television stations, sirens and warning apps such as Nina and Katwarn usually gave a test all-clear at 11.45 a.m. – 45 minutes after the test warning – but not via cell broadcast.

Although Deutsche Bahn took part in the warning day, it only sent corresponding messages on the display boards in the largest train stations in Germany, such as Munich, Stuttgart or Berlin.

The BBK has not yet been able to collect sufficient data on possible problems with the warning apps. According to initial findings, however, users usually received the messages faster than in 2020. At that time, the warnings arrived with a 35-minute delay. Under the BKK collects experiences of the citizens on the warning day 2022 until December 15th.

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