Mar 25, 2020

Coronavirus: Millions yet to receive UK government's Covid-19 text

Millions of mobile users in the UK have yet to receive the government's text message alert about coronavirus. The Cabinet Office ran trials in 2014 for a system which bypassed the mobile networks and sent messages directly to people's phones, but it was never developed. Ben Wood is a telecoms consultant who helped launch Vodafone's text message service in the early 1990s, when he used to work for the firm. "SMS is attractive to the government because it's a lowest common denominator messaging solution - it can reach many of the most vulnerable people in society who only have a basic feature phone." "What we really need is a wireless emergency system like they have in the US, which would allow the government to get the same message to everyone at once - not just for coronavirus, but for things like major weather disruption, that pose a danger to life."

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