On 10-4-2023, the Ministry of Communications notified the Indian Wireless Telegraphy (Cell Broadcasting Service for Disaster Alerts) Rules, 2023 introducing mandatory cell broadcast messages and automatic read out feature. The provisions came into force on 10-4-2023.
1. The manufacturers of smart phones and feature phones have to manufacture or sell new phones in India having the following facilities with effect from 10-10-2023:
• To receive cell broadcast messages for disaster alert in English and Hindi languages
• The memory of the phone should be such that the broadcast message stays in the inbox for 24 hours at least.
• This message should stay on screen until acknowledged by the user.
• The alert sound, vibration and light duration should not be less than 30 seconds.
• The feature of broadcast capability should be mentioned in the feature list and user manuals to increase customer awareness.
2. The manufacturers of smart phones and feature phones have to manufacture or sell new phones in India having the following facilities with effect from 10-10-2024:
• Mandatory receipt of extreme/ severe cell broadcast messages can be explored.
• Automatic read out in Indian accent (in English and Hindi).
3. No manufacturer can manufacture or sell the phones without having mandatory support to receive broadcast messages and automatic read of such messages with effect from 10-10-2024.
4. Cell broadcast in existing smart phones:
The manufacturers of handsets (that have been sold in past 4 years) and the handset operating system developer will have to facilitate the existing handsets with the mandatory broadcast messages and read out feature with effect from 10-10-2023.