Most phone users believe that Cell Broadcast resembles SMS quite closely. But the technology of Cell Broadcast enables the user to broadcast messages to all mobiles or similar devices that are located within an established area. In other words, Cell Broadcast is used in location-based subscriber services such as traffic conditions, local weather, regional auctions and nearest services (inquiring the nearest restaurant or service station).
Technology of Cell Broadcast is used to simultaneously send messages to numerous receivers in a certain area. If SMS – short message service – is a one-to-one and one-to-a few service, Cell Broadcast is one-to-many geographically focused service. Messages will be communicated to all the mobile users that are currently located in a given part of the network coverage. As a consequence, Cell Broadcats is more similar to the mass distribution media known as teletext or RDS – Radio Data System rather than SMS.
Both SMS and Cell Broadcast use the GSM network’s signal. A text or binary message can be defined and sent to all the mobile terminals that are connected to a set of cells. In many cases the GSM operators deliver through Cell Broadcast different data or news. Weather forecast and business news are frequently communicated with this technology. However, mobile users have the opportunity to torn on or off their Cell Broadcast messages.
Because this technology is not affected by traffic load, Cell Broadcast can be used during a disaster, especially when load spikes will cause networks to crash. Ongoing emergency information will be communicated to subscribers and they will receive significant news regarding bombings, Tsunami catastrophes or other such threats. You might be tempted to turn Cell Broadcast off, considering it might exhaust your phone battery. But what if you will ever get close to a potential disaster? If you live an area where hurricanes or other damages can occur, you should probably keep Cell Broadcast activated.