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25 June, 2024
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Cyprus hurries to launch EU alert on mobile phones

Officials hopeful EU alert in Cyprus for mobile phones will be up and running in 2024


Cyprus is the only EU member state that does not use a Public Warning System to alert cell phone users of an emergency or imminent threat, but officials in Nicosia say they hopeful they can launch Emergency Alert by next year.

According to Civil Defense spokesperson Panagiotis Liasidis, an early warning system is expected to be installed in the Republic of Cyprus, where mobile phone users will be able to receive emergency alerts.

Notifications will be delivered based on location and not subscription status, 'a warning or instructions for our own protection, this won’t be an SMS message that people can choose to open'

Notifications will be delivered to phones based on geographical location but not subscription status, thus allowing people on a local network or those who are roaming to receive “either a warning or instructions for our own protection.”

“This won’t be an SMS message that people can choose to open,” Liasidis said.

So far all EU member states except Cyprus have installed the system, which is based on Article 110 of the European Electronic Communication Code in 2018.

“By 21 June 2022, Member States shall ensure that, when public warning systems regarding imminent or developing major emergencies and disasters are in place, public warnings are transmitted by providers of mobile number-based interpersonal communication services to end-users concerned,” it was stated in EU legislation.

Civil Defense will operate the application but Liasidis said other state agencies including Cyprus Police and the Fire Department may also send notifications through the system.

Liasidis said the installation of the service will be financed by an EU recovery fund.

The mobile telephony-based PWS is expected to be launched next year.

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