UK Government to test mobile emergency alert systems

Government supplied mobile emergency alerts are something yet to be tried in the UK, but that is about to change. The Government is partnering with the three biggest UK carriers – EE, O2 and Vodafone – to trial an emergency alert system at select locations across the country. BBC News reports:

Government pilots in Easingwold, in North Yorkshire, Leiston, in Suffolk, and Glasgow city centre will evaluate how the public react to the alerts. Up to 50,000 people will receive messages marked as a test this autumn.

Traditional SMS messages as well as cellular broadcast messages will be part of the trial, scheduled to run through until November. Following this a report will be drawn up in 2014 suggesting whether the system should be taken nationwide.

Similar systems are already in place around the globe in countries such as the United States, Australia and The Netherlands. On iOS, presently Government Alerts are optional, with a setting to disable them should you decide you don't want to receive them.

Source: BBC News via Android Central

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

UK Government to test mobile emergency alert systems

6 Comments

When we all have access to 24hr news broadcasts on TV, Internet & radio, I think this alert system would be an asset, but only as a last resort measure, as we don't want users to become 'desensitised' to broadcasts using this method of communication.

The idea I think is that this could be available in times of natural disaster when people don't have access to TV or radio or the Internet. Serious power outages, flooding etc...

Serious power outages and floods where the phones get wet and the batteries go flat you mean?

Ok, jokes aside it'll be mildly useful I suppose.