SEOUL, June 29 (Korea Bizwire) – Smartphone users will be able to make phone calls, send texts and use mobile messenger KakaoTalk even when a certain emergency situation takes down a mobile carrier by using a mobile network from a different service provider.
The Ministry of Science and ICT, jointly with the nation’s three mobile carriers — SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. — held a demonstration for an emergency roaming service on Thursday at SK Telecom’s Bundang Center in Gyeonggi Province.
The Mobile Communication Emergency Roaming Service enables users to tap into a mobile network from a different carrier if the base station of a certain mobile carrier goes out of service because of an emergency situation.
In case of an emergency, the Minister of Science and ICT will now be able to initiate emergency roaming service for the impacted region and send out a warning.
Users will then be able to use the mobile network from a different mobile carrier unaffected by the emergency within an hour after the warning.
Users of 4G (LTE) and 5G services will be able to use 4G networks from a different mobile carrier unaffected by the emergency situation, without having to replace their phones or take additional measures.
For this, the top 3 mobile carriers secured a separate emergency roaming network that can accommodate up to 1 million phones.
If an emergency occurs, a base station unaffected by the situation will transmit the Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) of another base station hit by the emergency to enable roaming.
“The top 3 mobile carriers have been working since last year to develop systems and work on network compatibility issues to set up the emergency roaming service,” said Kang Jong-ryeol, head of SK Telecom’s ICT Infra Center.
“It’s difficult for many of us to realize the importance of this initiative from our everyday lives, but mobile networks are like the air we breathe, and should work as the most important social safety net anywhere at any time.”
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)