British government working with O2, Vodafone and EE to test alerts

The UK could join the U.S. with a nationwide mobile emergency alert system if trials of the technology are successful. BBC News reports that trials are to take place in Easingwold, in North Yorkshire, Leiston, in Suffolk, and Glasgow city centre, with up to 50,000 people receiving emergency notifications. Three of the four major mobile networks — O2, EE and Vodafone — are participating in the pilot, the broadcaster reports.

Both traditional SMS messages and cell broadcast messages will be tested as part of the trial, which is expected to begin later this month and run through until November. A report in 2014 will then determine whether the system should be implemented nationwide, and if so what form it should take.

Countries already using mobile emergency alerts include the U.S., Australia and the Netherlands, and other areas prone to natural disasters are in the process of implementing similar systems. Stateside, emergency alerts have been used to inform the public of events like prison escapes, disappearances and severe weather since late 2011.

Source: BBC News


Reader comments

UK to experiment with mobile emergency alerts


Wonder if this goes well whether they would be able to send them to all phones - some people (like me) use smaller networks or branch-offs.

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I imagine so. If you're going to send out alert's you want everyone to get them, not just certain people with certain phone's.

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The smaller networks piggyback on the major networks. I see no issue with an alert being sent to everyone connected in a certain area.

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You mean "I told you that Obama is going to take over our cellphones!"

oh wait, this is about the uk, where people might actuall think rationally...

The UK version would be

"I told you the EU would take over our mobile phones"

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Those emergency alerts go off if there's an emergency 100 miles away along with if there's one right behind you. They are a pita around here. Good luck, UK

I agree they would be more useful if they were smarter. For example, if I'm snug in bed at 3am, waking me to say "get indoors" is plumb stupid.

They're a nuisance, and I deselected all of them, except, of course, the "presidential" one cannot be deselected.

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