Mobile Phones As Warning Devices
The very first text message was sent almost 21 years ago on 3rd December 1992 when a Vodafone engineer sent a Merry Christmas text from his computer to the mobile of the company’s technical director. It wasn’t until seven years later that the texting revolution began when texts could be sent across different networks.
By the end of last year, text messaging was beginning to decline although the communication technique is still used by around 4 billion people around the world and according to statistics in December last year, 38.5 billion texts in total had been sent in the UK.
New ways of communicating
Since the development of Smartphones, the means of communication for mobile phone users has increased. Meaning an actual call or texting is not the only way any more. No social media now takes over as tweeting and instant messaging via other platforms is available.
In the past though text messaging has been used for many important or significant messages including marriage proposals and sealing business deals.
In the future
We wonder then how approximately 50,000 UK mobile phone users will feel when they receive a text message this autumn warning them of a disaster – it might be a terrorist attack, a natural disaster or a large scale accident?
The government working with three of our mobile phone companies will be testing this forming of warning on unsuspecting mobile phone owners. The service providers are O2, Vodafone and EE. This new initiative was reported in The Telegraph a few weeks ago.
These test warning texts will be sent to mobile phone owners in three main areas during the next few months: Easing wold in North Yorkshire, Glasgow City Center and Leiston in Suffolk.
The messages will be sent out via SMS and cell broadcasting which cleverly sends messages via a mobile mast to all active mobiles in the area. The system doesn’t need individual mobile numbers to get the message across. Additionally the government will learn how effective this means of communication is.
Cabinet Minister Francis Maude has confirmed that all messages will make it very clear that it is just a test and there is nothing to be concerned about in reality. The idea is to see how the systems work to deliver mass messaging.
He confirms that a variety of areas have been chosen to see if location makes a difference hence the focus on both urban and rural areas for the test texts. It is estimated that 50,000 mobile phone users will receive the test messages. The government hope that the public will help them evaluate how well the messages worked and how they feel about receiving messages this way by using an online survey.
New ways of working
How do you feel about the ability to receive warnings this way? After all they may save your life or those of your loved ones.
All the more reason to keep your mobile phone on you at all times, fully charged and ready to receive! That’s another good reason to ensure there are no hiccups in communication like losing your Smartphone. As well as taking extra care, best keep your mobile phone insurance up to date!
Wendy Lin is a free-lance writer and is a sell-proclaimed geek. She enjoys spending her free time catching up on the latest technology research and plans to start her own consultancy business.