Millions of people across the country today received the first nationwide test of the government’s new emergency alert system.
Although the alert was scheduled to go out at 3pm, many cell phone users complained that they received it at 2.59pm, surprising or scaring them because it went off earlier than expected.
The independent He understands that it happened because the alarm had to pass through different infrastructures used by mobile phone operators, which do not all operate at the same speed.
A government source said they always expected it to be “around 3pm” due to differences in operator networks.
Meanwhile, some Britons said they received the alert after 3pm, while others didn’t get it at all.
Three mobile network customers were among those who reported not receiving the communication test.
One social media user said: “I’m a Three customer. Settings active, software updated but no emergency alerts received. Clearly the apocalypse will be an anticlimax for some…
In a statement posted to Twitter, the company said it was aware a number of customers did not receive the notice and was working with the government to prevent this in the future.
A spokesperson for Three said: “We are aware that a number of customers have not received the test notice.
“We are working closely with the government to understand why and ensure it doesn’t happen when the system is in use.”
A small number of people have also taken to social media to report that they have not been able to make or receive calls since the 3pm alarm went off on their device.
However, the Cabinet Office said engineers had not identified a trend of phone features failing subsequently, but said officials were in the early stages of analyzing the test run results.
The Cabinet Office said it would look into the outcome of a UK-wide test of the new emergency alert system.
The department said that while the vast majority of compatible phones received the notice, officials were aware that “a very small percentage of mobile users on some networks did not.”
He said it would be looked into as part of Sunday’s test review.
A UK Government spokesperson said: “We have effectively completed the UK-wide test of the Emergency Alert System, the largest public communications exercise of its kind ever.
“We are working with mobile network operators to review the results and lessons learned.”
The system is intended to be used in life threatening situations including floods and fires, but some Britons have now expressed concern that the alerts would not be successful given that a large proportion of people did not receive it. .
The message was sent to 4G and 5G mobile phones, with sound and vibration for up to 10 seconds.
Phone users were asked to acknowledge the warning by scrolling or clicking on the message before they could continue using their device.
Speaking ahead of the test, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden admitted the exercise could be “annoying” but that it had the potential to save people’s lives once launched.
She said Sky News that the test run was “a bit like when the fire alarm goes off at work”.
“It’s a little irritating at the moment, but in the future people may be thankful because in a real emergency, this could be the sound that saves your life,” he said.
The Cabinet minister denied the new system was an example of state interference, telling the BBC he did not accept “that characterisation”.
People who don’t want to receive future alerts will be able to opt out using their device’s settings, but officials hope the potential life-saving of the messages means users will keep them turned on.
The test message that appeared on the phones read: “This is a test from Emergency Alerts, a new UK government service that will alert you if there is a life-threatening emergency nearby.
“In a real emergency, follow the instructions in the alert to protect yourself and others.
“Visit gov.uk/alerts for more information.
“This is a test. You don’t need to take any action.