The 3GPP says it has updated technical specs for an an enhanced Public Warning System (ePWS) that enable IoT devices to receive warning notifications.
3GPP Public Warning Systems were first specified in Release 8, allowing for direct warnings to be sent to mobile users on conventional user equipment capable of displaying a text-based and language-dependent warning notification.
Since Technical Specification (TS) 22.268 was first approved, there has been a growth in the number of mobile devices with little or no user interface – including wrist bands, sensors and cameras – many of which are not able to display warning notifications. The recent growth in the number of IoT devices not used by human users also highlights the need for an alternative to text based warning notifications. If those devices can be made aware of the type of incident – such as a fire or flood – in some other way than with a text message, then they may take preventive actions. For example, a lift receiving such a message would go to the ground floor automatically.
3GPP SA1 delegates also considered how graphical symbols or images can now be used to better disseminate warning notifications, specifically aimed users with disabilities who have UEs supporting assistive technologies beyond text assistive technologies, and users who are not fluent in the language of the warning notifications.
Much of the work on enhancing the ePWS is set out in the requirements specification TS 22.268 (SA1).
The 3GPP also said that it is working on protocol specifications (CT1, Stage 3 work) in Release 16, covering specifying message Identifiers for ePWS-UE, especially IoT devices that are intended for machine type communications, and enabling language-independent content to be included in warning notifications.
The work on ePWS in TS 22.268 (Release 16) is expected to help UE manufacturers meet any future regulatory requirements dedicated to such products.