Emergency Alert: Millions receive messages and alerts, but test could not be sent to some mobile users | UK News


Tens of millions of mobile phone users have received a message and a loud alarm during the first nationwide test of the government’s new public alert system.

However, many people received the alarm at 2:59 p.m. Sunday, a minute ahead of schedule, and others claimed they received nothing – or nothing at all – until 10 minutes later.

And in Wales the government made a typo in the translation of the warning sent in Welsh.

A spokesman for the cellular network said he was aware some customers had not received the notification.

“We are working closely with the government to understand why and to ensure this does not happen when the system is used,” a spokesman said.

The Cabinet Office said it would review the result of the UK test, acknowledging that a “very small proportion of mobile users on some networks did not get it”.

A UK Government spokesman said: “We have effectively completed the test of the UK’s Emergency Alert System, the largest public communications exercise of its kind ever undertaken.

“We are working with mobile network operators to verify the result and any lessons learned.”

The distinct noise and vibration were accompanied by a message notifying people of the service, which is designed to alert if there is a life-threatening emergency nearby.

The 10 second warning has been sent to every 4G and 5G device across the UK. People were told they didn’t have to do anything and could wipe away the message.

According to the governance, people would not get notifications if their phones were off or in airplane mode; if they were connected to a 2G or 3G network; if only they were connected to WiFi; or if their phones were not compatible.

Ministers hoped the test would get the public used to what the alerts look and sound like should they need to be sent in future crises.

It is meant to be used in situations like extreme weather, floods and fires.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said: “It really is the sound that could save your life”.

However, critics have said the warnings themselves could endanger the safety of people, including drivers, who could become distracted and Victims of domestic violence who have a secret phone.

Sports stadiums, theaters and cinemas, among other things, were planned before the test on Sunday how to protect yourself from interference when the going gets tough.

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Everything you need to know about the UK emergency alert test

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British Emergency Alert System Explained

How does the technology work?

The emergency calls are broadcast via cell towers and work on all 4G and 5G phone networks.

This is different from government orders during the pandemic. if SMS messages were sent directly to phone numbers.

That means whoever sends a notification doesn’t need your number. So you don’t have to reply to them, nor will you get a voicemail if you miss them. No location or other data is collected either.

It also means notifications can be sent to tablets and smartwatches with their own data plans.

Anyone within range of a mast will receive an alert, and it can be set based on geography – residents of Manchester, for example, don’t need an alert about life-threatening floods in Cornwall.

Continue reading:
How emergency calls work in other countries

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How is the emergency alert used?

Are notifications used frequently?

Ministers have insisted alerts will only be sent in “life-threatening” situations.

People who don’t want to receive the notifications can opt out of their device settings, turn their phones off or put them on airplane mode – but authorities are hoping many will choose to keep them on.

Such systems have been increasingly adopted by governments in recent years as the pandemic and climate-related emergencies increase the need for fast and direct communication with the public.

The EU introduced a directive obliging member states to have a telephone public warning system.

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