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Mobile phone users to continue texting emergency services
(25/02/2011 14:27:56)

People looking at mobile phone recycling options may have used their devices to contact the emergency services by sending a text message.

A pilot scheme has been in place for the past 12 months which has given mobile phone owners the option of requesting police, fire, coastguard and ambulance services via texting.

This unique initiative has proven successful according to Ofcom, which is looking to support the scheme in the future.

Indeed, the organisation believes that mobile phone operators should be forced to provide the service.

This, it suggested, will fall in line with updated EU legislation that is due to be introduced on May 25th 2011, which is aimed at ensuring disabled people receive the best emergency service available through new technology.

Currently, the initiative has 14,500 users and figures indicated that serious issues such as heart attacks, child birth and strokes have all been dealt with thanks to a text message request.

Ofcom claimed that such incidents have been reported via text message at least once a day since the scheme was launched.

Although it has championed the system, Ofcom has admitted that text messages are perhaps less efficient than phone calls due to the processing time, but it insisted that it should still be a viable option.

Another issue that is currently at the forefront of Ofcom's mind is the speeding up of "porting phone numbers".

This is the term given to the process when a customer opts to change network providers, but wants to keep the same phone number.

According to Ofcom chiefs, this previously arduous task will be completed within 24 hours from April 11th 2011.

Recently, bosses at the organisation have also issued stern warnings to companies that are repeat offenders when it comes to "silent calling".

At the start of this month, the body put measures in place to prevent firms from "harassing" people by making multiple automated calls during the course of a day.

The organisation said it received in excess of 9,000 complaints over the issue in 2010.

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