The United Kingdom government’s new public alert system was put to the test on Sunday, with tens of millions of mobile phone users receiving a loud alarm and message. The alert system is designed to warn people of nearby life-threatening emergencies, such as extreme weather, flooding, and fires.
The alert was received by a number of people at 2:59 pm on Sunday April 23, a minute earlier than the scheduled time, while some individuals reported not receiving it until 10 minutes later, or not getting the alert at all. The alerts were sent to every 4G and 5G device across the UK, with a distinct sound and vibration accompanied by a 10-second message.
According to Sky News, the Cabinet Office reports that an evaluation of the test’s outcome will be conducted in response to the aforementioned concerns of some citizens not receiving the alert, and it has been recognized that only a “very small proportion of mobile users on some networks did not receive it.” The UK government’s spokesperson has confirmed that the nationwide Emergency Alerts system test has been accomplished successfully and is the largest public communications exercise of its type ever undertaken, with a handful of lessons to be learnt.