mecom Logo quer RGB


Modular Warning System

Reliable population alerts in Germany – unique in the world

mecom Logo quer RGB


Need support?

Phone: +49 40 4113 32800


A few facts on MoWaS

Fires, floods, power outages or other hazards: In exceptional situations, the population needs to be alerted quickly and in a straightforward manner. We ensure that people in Germany are always alerted to hazards in time.

To achieve this, we are operating a unique, fail-safe and temper-proof technical alerting infrastructure for the German Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK), the Modular Warning System (MoWaS).

In hazardous situations, the police, the fire brigade or public authorities can disseminate alerts through MoWaS. These are transferred to a great variety of connected alerting devices via satellite technology or terrestrial transmission. This means that the population is alerted, for example, via TV, radio, alerting apps, digital city billboards, passenger information systems or, directly through their own mobile phones, via Cell Broadcast.

operating since 2001

in use at just under 400 locations

over 100 transmitting and receiving stations

over 250 template-creating transmitting and receiving stations

simultaneous transmission to all stations

3.468 alerts through MoWaS in 2022

fail-safe, tamper-proof and offering maximum availability

What does MoWaS warn against?


violent crime
(e. g. amok runs)


chemical, biological and nuclear hazards

dangerous animals

weather hazards

(by governments or private agents)

acts of war

other disaster events

Which alerting devices does MoWaS reach?

  • nationwide full-service channels of public service and private broadcasters
  • regional (state) broadcasting corporations
  • supraregional German radio stations
  • radio stations broadcasting regionally/state-wide
  • many local radio stations
  • analogue as well as digital (DAB+)
  • alerts through the website
  • people can subscribe to alerts as RSS feeds on the above-mentioned website
  • delivery to hundreds of web portals
  • alerting app NINA (Notfall-Informations- und Nachrichten-App), the emergency information and news app of the German Federal Government
  • alerting app KATWARN
  • BIWAP (Bürger-Info und Warn-App), citizens’ information and alerting app
  • various regional alerting apps
  • alerts through billboards in cities and municipalities
  • alerts through passenger information systems in subways, suburban trains, stations and other public transport hubs
  • direct alerts to mobile phones
  • independent of network operators
  • no installation of an app required
  • alert is displayed on all smartphones within a certain perimeter
  • to alert the population and fire brigades
  • the number of sirens in Germany is growing
  • news agencies
  • media outlets and publishers
  • other organizations, companies and public authorities that disseminate alerts to their customers and users

What is the technical structure of MoWaS?

The Modular Warning System is divided into three sections: triggering agents, transmission channel and alerting devices.

How does MoWaS transmit alerts?

We transmit alerts via satellite technology and through a redundant wired connection. This makes the system fail-safe, tamper-proof and insensitive to power outages or failures of the terrestrial transmission channels.

MoWaS chronology

We all remember the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in New York. These events were the catalyst for the establishment of a nationwide population alerting system in Germany.

mecom was commissioned by the federal government to design and develop such a system. The “Satelliten-Warnsystem” – SatWaS for short – was born and already went into the first expansion stage by the end of 2001. In 2013, it was renamed “Modulares Warnsystem” or MoWaS.

Read here how MoWaS has evolved since its beginnings.

  • After the end of the Cold War

    No more sirens: The nationwide siren network in Germany was dismantled after the end of the Cold War.

  • September 11, 2001

    The terrorist attacks of September 11 are the catalyst for the conception of a population alerting system in Germany.

  • Alerts in less than one minute

    The German Federal Office for Civil Protection is commissioned to develop the alerting system. The core requirement is the fail-safe transmission of warning messages to the population in less than one minute.

  • Alerts through many channels

    The population should learn about warnings quickly. That is why alert multipliers are involved. Initially, the public service broadcasters participate. Other multipliers are added at a later stage.

  • Infrastructure of the news agencies

    At this point in time, mecom is already operating a satellite-based communication network for the news agencies in Germany. It is fast, tamper-proof and fail-safe. The federal government commissions mecom to realise the project of a warning system on this basis. SatWaS, later to be called MoWaS, is born.

  • SatWaS is launched

    In 2001, the satellite warning system SatWaS already starts to operate for the German Federal Government in its first expansion stage. Two years later, the federal states are also connected to SatWaS.

  • SatWaS becomes MoWaS

    A new system with proven strengths: In 2013, the Modular Warning System (MoWaS) starts real-time operation, replacing SatWaS. MoWaS is also based on satellite technology. In 2017, a new web-based version is added (MoWaS v/SE), which enables use in a great variety of new locations with a less sophisticated infrastructure.

  • Constant further development

    MoWaS is always up to date. The system’s architecture, maintainability and application design continuously set new standards for population alerts in a digital age. Further alert multipliers are constantly added and Cell Broadcast is integrated into MoWaS.

How does an alert make it onto TV and radio?

When something occurs that affects the population of entire federal states or even all of Germany, they should be alerted to it quickly and comprehensively. The media are an important channel to achieve this. And they are also connected to the Modular Warning System.

This is how MoWaS alerts are processed in media outlets:


You need support in the area of safety-critical communication? Regardless of whether you are a public authority, a media outlet or a company – we will develop suitable solutions for you.


Write to us or call us. We look forward to exchanging ideas with you.


mecom Medien-Communikations-Gesellschaft mbH
Mittelweg 143
20148 Hamburg

Telefon: +49 40 4113 32800

Telefon: +49 40 4113 32810

© 2024 mecom Medien-Communikations-Gesellschaft mbH. Alle Rechte vorbehalten. Made in Germany.