For UK members: April 23rd 3pm (1500 local) Alert Test, What do you think???

I checked in here to see what you all thought of this alert thing? is it useful? does it have the potential to help anyone in a real situation? etc…

because I went to a busy motorway service station near me to see what would be like in a crowd, how people would respond and how easily heard it would be so that I would get the most from the test, and I know that other country use similar systems so I guess it must work

What I experienced:
– there was a loud noise because there was enough people with compatible phones for everyone in the crowd to hear it
– my phone was too old (you need android 11 or later), I did expect to receive a text at the very least but I got nothing
– I think it was about one in ten people with a version of android new enough to receive it
– This 1/10 included a group of Indian tourists (so where your SIM is registered doesn’t matter) you can still receive the alert, but it came through on there phones in English so the children had no idea what it was until there farther translated it for them
– There is no alert through FM or DAB radio, just phones

If I was on my own I would have had no way to receive this, but it is still better than nothing, so should I upgrade my phone?

What are you thoughts on the UK Alert System?


  • Comments (4)

    • 2

      I am using an Android 10 and I received the alert spot on time.   Though it would seem anyone on the 3 network or with no 4 or 5 G connection did not.

      I am in favour of the system, I live very close to a town that was badly flooded a few years ago, a system like this would have gone a long way to giving people a bit more notice, with the possibility of at lest getting them selves and their vehicles out the danger zone.  

      I hope that it can be targeted at the local area, if I was to get warnings about London and I live in the Northeast, then I think I would be switching it off.

      The next question of course is what constitutes and “emergency”?   As local radio stations are being closed will they use this for things like local school closures and blocked roads?

      • 1

        Interesting, when I researched why it only worked for some phones I just got that you needed Android 11, so it is not as clean cut as I buy a new phone and it will just work, hmmm… thanks for letting me know

        From what I’ve learned so far it works through phone mast range, so it can approximately be targeted to a local area. Example: there is a danger in Liverpool and they put it through all the phone masts in Liverpool everyone who needs to receive it should receive it, however plenty of people in the immediate area around Liverpool will probably pick it up as well, and depending on the type of danger that might not be a bad thing. For the test they just put it out everywhere to see if it worked

        Unfortunately I have no source because I can’t remember where I read it but: What constitutes an emergency; anything that could cause an immediate threat to life or health. So probably not school closures etc…

        I guess we will find out more as they refine the system

    • 2

      I live in rural mid Wales and received the alert on time even though my phone is old and frankly a bit crap. Apparently this is a response to criticism that the government were planning to discontinue the emergency broadcast system on radio four. During the extreme weather conditions that caused power outages and loss of mobile phone signals across Scotland and the North East of England this alert system would have been completely crippled. I’m going to need a little more to convince me that this is an improvement.

      • 1

        hmmm… so not the best but still something, and probably not worth getting a new phone for just yet