UK mobile operators might soon have to offer mandatory support for the emergency 999 text service, telecoms regulator Ofcom has proposed.
According to The Telegraph, the service as been on trial for the past year and was originally intended to cater for deaf and speech-impaired people. The service requires mobile phones to be pre-registered before being able to access it.
The service has been receiving an average of one SMS every day and has around 14,500 registered users. People have reported all kinds of emergencies ranging from heart attacks to child birth.
Pre-registration is said to be mandatory in order to avoid prank texts, and users are asked to include specific details in the text such as the emergency service required, the nature of the emergency and the location. It is suggested that it is preferable to register fro the service 'before you need help' according to the website emergencysms.org.uk.
The scheme was initially started in response to a ruling from Europe that handicapped people must have equal access to contacting security services.