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SMS emergency management goes national

Telstra first to provide location-based alerts

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Location-based warnings via SMS will become a feature of Australia’s emergency management system this year, with Telstra the first carrier to commit to a system on a national basis.

After signing an agreement late last year with the Victoria state government, Telstra is now preparing to build the capability into its network, with The Australian reporting that the system will go live by November.

Australia’s other two carriers, Optus and Vodafone Hutchison Australia, have not yet announced when or if they will follow suit.

At the moment, emergency warnings are limited to using the residential address associated with individual subscribers, which means visitors and tourists have to rely on such devastatingly old-school emergency notifications as radio announcements.

Location based warnings came to the fore as a recommendation made by the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission which was established to investigate how to avoid a repeat of the late 2009 fires in which 173 people died. ®

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