Support for Cell Broadcast as Global Emergency Alert System

Cell Broadcast (CB) is a possible technical realisation of a global emergency alert system. It is a technique used for sending short text messages to all mobile stations (MSs) in a defined geographical area. An potential effect of using CB is the increase in battery consumption of the MS due to the fact that an extra channel has to be used to make the service available even when the network is otherwise congested.

Another part of the service which leads to a potential problem is making CB messages available in different languages. Investigating these problems is the objective of this thesis and the studies it includes. During the first part of the thesis, we measured the battery consumption of MSs in different modes of operation in order to analyse how CB affects the amount of current drained.

The tests showed that battery consumption increased only slightly when CB messages were being received at the MS. Although some of the results can be, and are discussed, we believe that CB would have a small effect on the power consumption of an MS, particularly in a context where it would be used for emergency warning messages only. This mentioned, it would however be wishful to confirm the conclusions further through the realisation of long-term testing.

The second part of the thesis deals with the investigation of the MSs’ support for CB messages with different coding schemes. Based on the investigation’s result, we have come to the conclusion that in the long term the usage of different coding schemes on the same channel is preferred. However, the usage of one, global, emergency channel is hard to realise since that requires a standardisation between all countries. In our opinion this may be achieved first in the long run and until then, the usage of separate channels seems to be necessary.
Source: Linköping University
Authors: Axelsson, Karin | Novak, Cynthia

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