The US tech behind the UK and European emergency alerts

The US tech behind the UK and European emergency alerts

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The UK has tested a nationwide emergency alert system on 4G and 5G phones with varying results this weekend.

The technology was developed by US firm Everbridge, which accounts for the US accent on the alert which also featured a siren and text message. The company has also deployed its technology in Germany, Spain, Denmark, Norway, and Estonia in the last six month, joining 19 other countries across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions.

 The UK test saw problems with the text messages, alerts not being delivered in areas with just 3G coverage and a wider problem with phones operating on the network run by Three., which was one of the three networks to test the system alongside BT-owned EE and Virgin Media O2, which also had problems. Vodafone was not mentioned in the initial tests before the system went live..

The texts are intended to alert people to natural and manmade threats, including severe storms, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, as well as geo-political disruptions, terrorist attacks, and industrial accidents.

In January, Estonia officially launched an end-to-end Public Warning solution on a nationwide basis using , featuring the Everbridge Public Warning Centre, to protect over 1.3 million residents plus annual tourists.

The new countrywide public alert system of Spain, powered by Everbridge, includes both Cell Broadcast coverage at the national level, as well as the publication of alerts via the Web and through mobile alerts. The platform can reach 99% of the population of Spain, including 47 million residents and nearly 80 million annual visitors, through mobile network operators Telefónica, Vodafone, Orange, and MásMóvil.

Everbridge deployed Cell Broadcast technology within two of the largest Mobile Network Operators in Germany as a key technology component of Germany’s nationwide emergency alerting system. Everbridge contracts with mobile network operators in Germany represents over 65% of the country’s mobile subscribers.

The system was successfully tested on Nationwide Alert Day (Warntag) in September and again in February 2023. Widescale flooding in the west of Germany became a factor for the country to implement additional emergency alerting channels to the existing Modular Warning System (MoWaS).

Residents and visitors in Denmark will receive warning alerts via S!RENEN, powered by Everbridge, directly on their mobile phones. Everbridge delivered Cell Broadcast to the Danish government via the Telenor Telia Network. The system is fully operational and will be tested nationally every May.


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