Post-lunch rehearsal plans crumble as UK re-tests emergency alerts …

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Mobile networks across the UK are expected to once again panic their users this afternoon as part of a test of the government’s emergency alerting system – causing selected mobiles to “beep loud, like a mermaid “.

Due to a full launch this summer, the Government’s Emergency Alert System is a messaging platform designed to get information out to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

“The emergency alerts work like a radio broadcast,” the government explained. “In an emergency, mobile phone masts in the vicinity will broadcast an alert. Each compatible mobile phone or tablet within range of a mast will receive the alert. You will receive alerts based on your current location, not where you live or work. “

Before the system can be deployed, however, it needs to be tested – which is exactly what will happen this afternoon at 12:00 UTC in a nationwide experiment. “Some UK mobile phone networks are testing emergency alerts between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. [12:00-13:00 UTC]The government warned of the few souls who sit down and refresh the planned test portal for emergency alerts.

“The alert will say: This is a mobile network operator test of the Emergency Alerts Service. You do not need to take any action. To learn more, search for gov.uk/alerts. “

Although the test is nationwide, not all devices will be affected. Those with an Apple iPhone in their pocket won’t get anything, although the alert system is compatible with iOS 14.5 and above, while anyone running Android 11 or above has a “small chance” of receiving an alert. test.

“Your device,” the government warned, “can make a loud siren-like sound.”

It’s a noise that may be familiar to O2 subscribers, whose devices did just that in a previous test – literally, early in the morning when subscribers were probably still stirring their coffee – in May of. this year.

The wording of the test message is, at least, much more reassuring than that used in Hawaii in 2018 when the US Emergency Alert System (EAS) falsely issued a warning that a “ballistic missile threat” was incoming and that citizens should “seek immediate shelter.”

After this afternoon’s experiment, the next system test is scheduled for June 29, 2021 at the same time and will trigger both iPhones and Androids in Berkshire.

Those who prefer not to be disturbed can turn off less serious alerts. ®


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