Vodafone customers abroad to be contacted by Foreign Office

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New trial will see Vodafone customers in countries hit by trouble contacted by the Foreign Office to warn them of dangers

Vodafone customers who find themselves in a country struck by something like a natural disaster or terrorist attacks will be sent free text messages by the Foreign Office as part of a new trial.

The trial – the first of its kind between the Foreign Office and a UK operator will also see customers of MVNOs that use the Vodafone network receive the messages.

Speaking about the launch of the trial, which will last for 12 months, Foreign Office minister Jeremy Brown said it was the first step to being able to contact all British Nationals who could be in danger overseas.

We will soon have the ability to send text messages to all affected British nationals registered on our crisis database,” Brown said.

“As well as this we’re also exploring delivering important information through a range of mobile and online tools, including smartphone apps, a travel advice site for mobile phones and making effective use of social media and digital tools.”

Vodafone head of central government Jayne Rees said: “We know how essential mobile phones are for keeping in touch with friends, family and colleagues, as well as being one of the things people won’t leave home without – whether they’re at home or abroad.”

The Foreign Office said as well as sending out text messages, vital information would still be available to British nationals abroad, on its website and its Facebook and Twitter pages.

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