SMS Services Keep Commuters Informed During the London Tube Strikes

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Communication is key during disruptive events such as the recent tube strike, and SMS, identified in a new Dynmark white paper as the most effective communication method in such a scenario, is being used to provide a range of services to commuters.

SMS has a crucial role to play in the management of any disaster, emergency or major logistical situation affecting large volumes of people

During the past year, the UK has experienced a number of unforeseen events that have caused major disruption to public transport systems and on the roads, including the heavy snowfalls earlier in the year, the volcanic ash cloud in the spring and now the strike affecting the London underground. The widespread effects of these events have highlighted the need for well-functioning and reliable communication channels.

In a new white paper, messaging applications provider Dynmark International (http://www.dynmark.com) offers valuable insight into the challenges involved in communicating in emergency situations and explores the ways through which SMS messaging can be used to co-ordinate aid efforts, prevent unnecessary dangerous journeys, reduce days of lost business and potentially even save lives.

During a crisis, mobile phone networks often become overloaded, with demand on the local internet infrastructure also exceeding its designed capacity, and in some cases failing altogether. SMS text, on the other hand, operates on the mobile carrier signal rather than the connection used for mobile voice and data, allowing messages to be delivered and received on mobile devices even when the networks are too congested to make voice calls.

“SMS has a crucial role to play in the management of any disaster, emergency or major logistical situation affecting large volumes of people” says Oscar Jenkins, CEO of Dynmark International. “The simplicity and reliability of the technology, both for users and developers, means it can be quickly integrated with existing databases and systems”.

The white paper contains numerous examples of how messaging has been used in different emergency scenarios. SMS is widely used by schools and colleges to inform parents of school closures during spells of extreme weather or health hazards. SMS services supporting London commuters included shortcodes for requesting cabs, travel alerts delivered by text message and a journey planner service. A key component of any contingency plan, SMS communication channels are extremely quick and easy to activate - in the event of an emergency, customers or members can be informed at the click of a button.

Download the white paper "Sending Out an SMS - Text Messaging in Emergencies" from http://www.dynmark.com/whitepapers.aspx.

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Anna Eriksson

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