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Foreign Office trials emergency text service

The Foreign Office has launched a trial service that will send texts to customers who are in a country where there has been a major crisis such as a natural disaster or civil unrest.

The service will provide essential advice and the Foreign Office will monitor it for 12 months.

The trial has been launched with Vodafone and the messages will be sent to the phone company's UK subscribers and the customers of any mobile provider whose services runs on Vodafone's network.

Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne said: "The recent consular crisis in Egypt, Libya and Japan have demonstrated the need to deliver live travel safety messages to as many people as quickly as possible.

"This new service is part of our vision to deliver better consular services more cost-effectively.

"We will soon have the ability to send text messages to all affected British nationals registered on our crisis database.  As well as this we're also exploring delivering important information through a range of mobile and online tools."

The text service does not replace any existing services and the information will continue to be provided on the Foreign Office website, Facebook and Twitter.


by Jeremy Skidmore

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

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