Monday, April 18, 2005

Emergency SMS service in UK

British mobile telephone users will be alerted to a terrorist attack or major incident in their area within seconds as part of an SMS alert service. With most households now containing a mobile phone, the City Alert Texting System (Cats) will allow the emergency services and local authorities to spread a message as widely and quickly as possible. Nick Seller, of EazyText Communications, which designed Cats, said: "It came to us after the September 11 attacks. There was half an hour between the hijack and the planes hitting the World Trade Centre. I am convinced that if they'd been able to spread word quickly lives would have been saved before the planes hit.
There is a drawback though: one has to pay £1.50 a year to receive alerts. When it is needed, the operator decides on how wide an area needs alerting and then sends a message to all registered phones.


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