Vodafone & FCO Trial Overseas Crisis SMS Service

Britain’s Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) is testing a new service in collaboration with mobile operator Vodafone with the aim to deliver emergency text messages to British nationals travelling in foreign countries in a crisis situation.

According to tech website Mobile Today, the FCO has begun to trial a free emergency SMS service in partnership with Vodafone which will initially run for 12 months. The service will offer cautionary messages, advice and current situation updates to all Britons travelling outside the country, whenever a crisis situation, arising from natural disasters or civil conflict, like those in Egypt or Japan, should come up.

“This new service is an innovative way to exploit the ubiquity of mobile phones and use existing mobile technology to support UK Nationals abroad and provide them with information when they need it the most. We look forward to supporting the Foreign Office with this and further initiatives,” the chief of Vodafone UK, Jayne Rees said in a statement.

The FCO will provide this service on all types of mobile device running on Vodafone and other service providers such as Talkmobile, TalkTalk, BT Mobile, Gamma Telecom and Cognatel that are powered by Vodafone only.

The trial drive is expected to stretch for over a period of one year and the FCO plans to enter collaboration with other British mobile operators if the trial is found to be successful.