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Installation of emergency alert system

At present, if there are urgent and important messages that the Government would need to widely disseminate to all members of the public during an emergency, the Government will need to seek the assistance of local mobile network operators (MNOs) to use their short message services (SMSs), pursuant to an agreement reached with them in 2008. In the last 12 months, the Government used this mode of message dissemination 12 times.However, the arrangement of sending SMSs has a number of limitations. Given the capacity constraint and the large number of subscribers in Hong Kong, the messages would take four hours or more to reach all mobile telephone subscribers. We estimate that the cost of $150 million to set up the EAS would cover the cost of equipment, installation and operation. The EAS will need to interface with the telecommunications networks of the MNOs and we will need to discuss and agree with the MNOs on implementation details and the mode of operation.

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