Mobile phone alerts for major emergencies to be tested in Glasgow


A system of mobile phone alerts used to warn members of the public about major emergencies has been tested in Glasgow.

The city is the second location, from a total of three, in the UK to pilot messaging that would allow the public to be updated on natural disasters, terror attacks or large-scale accidents.

As part of a series of tests being carried out by the Cabinet Office, Glasgow City Council sent messages to O2 customers in a defined area in the city centre using location-based SMS technology.

Three messages were sent over several hours on Thursday afternoon. The message made clear the texts were part of a trial.

Annemarie O’Donnell, executive director of corporate services at Glasgow City Council, said: “The council has a legal duty to have systems in place to allow us to communicate with people in the city in the event of an emergency.

“We already have many different methods of communication, including the council’s Twitter feed, which has more than 35,000 followers.

“However, being able to send messages directly to mobile phones in a specific geographic area would be an added bonus and would allow us to communicate with large numbers of people, including those who may only be passing through the city.

“Ensuring that people receive timely, accurate information in the event of an emergency plays a crucial role in helping councils and the emergency services deal with an incident.”

Billy Darcy, public sector managing director at O2, said: “We believe mobile technology can play a vital and effective role in the simultaneous mass communication of emergency messages to the public, should the need ever arise.

“We look forward to assessing the results of the trial, once it is completed, and agreeing the next steps with the government.”

The pilot in Easingwold in North Yorkshire took place on September 18 and the third is planned for Wednesday November 20 in Leiston in Suffolk.

More than 50,000 people are expected to be involved across all three locations to assess how well the technology works and how the public reacts to it.

Fonte: http://news.stv.tv/west-central/241782-mobile-phone-alerts-for-major-emergencies-to-be-tested-in-glasgow/

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Mobile phone emergency alert system to be tested in UK


A system that sends emergency alerts to mobile phones within areas affected by flooding, industrial accidents or other local risks is to be tested in the UK.

Government pilots in Easingwold, in North Yorkshire, Leiston, in Suffolk, and Glasgow city centre will evaluate how the public react to the alerts.

Up to 50,000 people will receive messages marked as a test this autumn.

The US, the Netherlands and Australia use a similar system, but one expert said it could be targeted by hackers.

The Cabinet Office, which announced the trials, said it was working with mobile phone operators O2, Vodafone and EE to conduct the experiment.

The tests will start later this month and continue into October and November.

Those sent the texts will be asked to provide feedback, and will also be encouraged to attend local focus groups. A report is expected in early 2014, after which ministers will decide whether to deploy the scheme.

Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith told the BBC that the system, if put in place, would be used only in times of “genuine emergency”.

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Spoofability will go through the roof if they use ‘plain Jane’ text messages”

Chester Wisniewski Senior advisor at data security firm Sophos

The trials come after the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010 set out the government’s commitment to “evaluate options for an improved public alert system”.

Security concerns

The trial will test two distinct methods of delivering emergency alerts to mobile phones.

The first uses traditional SMS, or text messaging, while the second uses cell broadcast (CB) technology, which operates on a dedicated network, not used for calls or texts.

While cell broadcast messages can only be sent by mobile operators and look slightly different to a conventional SMS, text messages can be sent by anyone – which means alerts could be impersonated.

“Spoofability will go through the roof if they use ‘plain Jane’ text messages,” said Chester Wisniewski, senior advisor at data security firm Sophos.

“Anything that carries the gravitas of a national alerts system will be a target for hackers.

“They are opening themselves up to vulnerabilities.”

Reacting to these claims, Ms Smith told the BBC that authorities “will be vigilant for any sign of abuse in the trial”.

Chile Earthquake Countries like Chile, which are prone to earthquakes are implementing mobile alerts systems

She also assured that the mobile alerts would work alongside existing services, allowing members of the public to verify messages with other sources.

US successes

Mobile alert systems have already been used in several countries to alert people about disappearances, prison escapes, wanted vehicles.

Places which are prone to more serious natural disasters, such as Japan and Chile, are also implementing versions of the technology.

Californian Highway Patrol officials used the mobile alerts for the first time in the state one evening in August after two children went missing. Many people complained after they were woken by their phones buzzing and beeping.

However, there was more positive feedback a few weeks later when a 17-month-old missing toddler was reunited with her family in North Carolina after a message was sent to mobile phones in the area.

The Cabinet Office is proposing that the technology will only be used in the UK if there is a distinct threat to life or property.

These scenarios are detailed in the National Risk Register, which include severe weather, pandemics and attacks on critical infrastructure.

Emergency mobile alerts methods

SMS (text messages) Cell broadcast (CB)
Requires specific phone numbers Broadcasts to all mobile phones in a specific area
Can be slowed by network congestion Always available, as network is not used for other messages
Anyone can send, hence difficult for users to verify Only mobile operators can send
Cannot be barred by users, unless they choose not to receive general text messages Needs to be turned on – usually handset’s default setting – for message to be received

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Fonte: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24113790

 

 

Homezone O2


Após realizar uma pesquisa na internet verifiquei que na Alemanha o Homezone já se pratica há bastante tempo na operadora móvel O2.

O sistema da operadora O2 utiliza um cartão SIM com tecnologia STK no qual o cliente no Menu do telemóvel regista a área de residência dele.

Eles possuem o serviço de Difusão Celular no qual no canal 221 enviam as coordenadas geográficas das BTS que estão a servir o clientes, essas coordenadas são iguais aos equipamentos de GPS, o telemóvel com o cartão SIM STK recebe essa informação via Difusão Celular e descodifica a mesma, apresentando ao cliente no display do telemóvel se o cliente está na sua área de residência, mostrando um ícone no display do telemóvel com uma casa e a informação HOME. O cliente quando sai da sua área de residência o telemóvel continua a receber a informação das coordenadas e a descodificá-las, se a informação recebida não corresponder à que está no cartão o equipamento passa para City tendo o cliente a sua tarifa normal das chamadas.

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Eurotel Cell broadcast brings free geographical information


Now all Eurotel customers can easily and free of charge find out where they are at the moment

All Eurotel Praha customers can use geographical information on their mobile phones displays – Eurotel Cell Broadcast.

If a customer using Eurotel network arrives in one of more than 90 places in CR, easily and for free finds out where he or she is at that very moment. Their mobile phone display will show, thanks to the Eurotel Cell Broadcast, the name of the city or town visited. Prague’s MHD passengers will get also information on the mobile phone display about the metro station and the line in 51 stations.

“Our customers could have tried a pilot project of our Eurotel Cell Broadcast during this year’s Invex, when during traveling on the D1 freeway they could see an Invex notice and directly at the Brno exhibition grounds an invitation to our exhibition stand,” says Paul Long, Eurotel Strategy and Development Director. “New geographical information will be appreciated mainly by foreign visitors using our network in roaming, and all local Eurotel customers during their travels around CR. The main benefit of the new service is its simplicity and that it is free,” he adds.

Every customer can easily activate and deactivate the Eurotel Cell Broadcast by a simple adjustment of a mobile phone menu. Information pictured directly on a mobile phone display is sent by base stations and can differ in individual cells. Whenever the mobile phone checks in a new cell during a travel, the customer will get notified on the display, where s/he is right at that moment.

Because of the high concentration of base stations and cell overlapping in large cities like Prague, Brno or Ostrava, mainly local geographical names, for example Prague Castle, will be used as the information about location. In this way customers will get more correct information about their location and it will also prevent inaccuracies that could arise for example in naming of local city districts.

“Thanks to the extensive network of the so called indoor coverage inside buildings we will in the future also offers information and special greetings in hotels, large companies or shopping centers,” closes Paul Long.