Government To Trial Emergency Mobile Warnings

Alerts will be sent out to around 50,000 people across different parts of the UK

The UK government has announced plans to test mobile alerts for emergency situations, in partnership with O2, Vodafone and EE.

Trials will take place in Glasgow, Suffolk and Yorkshire throughout the Autumn, the Cabinet Office said.

© - Fotolia.comDon’t panic… check your mobile

The trials will involve two different kinds of alerts, the first being a cell broadcast service, which will send out text-type messages to all handsets in a defined area. The second will see SMS messages sent to affected citizens.

Local authorities in each area have developed plans to inform communities affected. It is hoped the messages will not convince people a genuine emergency has occurred.

“I want to reassure the public that these tests are not linked to any threat or specific hazard in their area,” said Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.

“We have included diverse areas – both rural and urban – as part of our tests, as we want to look at how effective the different systems are in different areas in using mobile phones to deliver mass messaging.

“The message itself will make clear that it is only a test and I do not want the public to be alarmed in any way.”

It is estimated 50,000 people will be affected. A report on the trials will be delivered in early 2014.

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