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Sweden to send SMS warnings by location during dangerous incidents

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Sweden to send SMS warnings by location during dangerous incidents
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
16:57 CEST+02:00
Sweden’s SOS Alarm emergency control centre is to introduce SMS warnings to people in areas that it considers to be in danger.

The text messages will be sent to warn of incidents such as fires, gas leaks and terrorist attacks.

Publically-owned SOS Alarm, which operates Sweden’s 112 emergency telephone number, is working with all of Sweden’s mobile phone operators to set up the SMS warning system, reports P4 Västernorrland.

The operator has previously issued warnings known as VMAs (viktigt meddelande till allmänheten, important messages to the public) via SMS. But the messages only reached mobile users with specific subscriptions and registered addresses, according to the report.

But now anyone carrying a mobile phone in the area relevant to the warning will be able to receive the SMS.

“This is something we are very positive about. It will be a more effective VMA service. It means we can reach anyone who is actually located in the affected area,” SOS Alarm’s press officer Linda Boholm Lundemo told news agency TT. 

“The correct information must reach the right people, those that are where events are happening. The road to making this new messaging service possible has not been smooth. To start with, the law had to be changed, with the aim of prioritising security over personal privacy," Lundemo continued.

The SMS service will be introduced on July 1st and implemented across Sweden throughout the summer.

READ ALSO: Sweden launches new emergency number

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