Location Based SMS
Location Based SMS (or LB-SMS) is a method of sending messages via mobile phone SMS (Short Message Service) to mobile phone users in a defined geographic area. Unlike Location Based Advertising, LB-SMS is used to send emergency notifications or public warning messages in situations when there is potential risk to life or property, such as severe weather events, natural disasters, man made hazards or terror attacks.
The first example of LB-SMS took place in Norway in 2006. The system was developed by CellVision together with NetCom (now Telia Norway) one of the telecommunications operators. (CellVision was later acquired by Unified Messaging Systems in 2015). The system was built to provide an emergency warning system to alert communities of the threat of a tsunami in Storfjorden and Geirangerfjorden in the Norwegian fjords. The first test of the system using Netcom took place in December 2005 in Oslo then was further tested in Geirangerfjorden. The second telecommunications operator (TeleNor)was added to the system in 2007 enabling LB-SMS alerts to be sent to the entire country of Norway. The first test of an LB-SMS alert system took place in Grenland in Norway as a part of a big Police exercise in 2008, sending location based SMS messages to 100,000 people.
Examples of LB-SMS deployments
- Sweden National Warning System SOS Alarm https://www.sosalarm.se/
LB-SMS is an alert mechanism which identifies all the subscribers in a given area based on the passive location information received from the Telecommunications Service Provider (TSP) network and delivers the SMS to all the mobile devices in an identified area/location. Anyone with a mobile phone and an active sim card can receive LB-SMS. It requires no additional configuration on the citizens’ part to receive the alert information. Today, LB-SMS is accessible to and can reach 100% of all mobiles manufactured worldwide. LBSMS platforms are also 5G-ready. LB-SMS therefore has the ability to broadcast an alert to a large population.
Differences between Cell Broadcast and Location-Based SMS.
- With LB-SMS the number of messages sent to mobile phone users within an incident zone is tracked and it is possible to see how many users have received or acknowledged the message.
- An LB-SMS system can provide information on population numbers and population location relative to an incident.
- LB-SMS also has the option of two-way communication between the sender and the recipient.
Speed of Location based SMS
In the early years SMS systems had a reputation for being too slow compared to alternative delivery methods. However with advancements in mobile technology LB-SMS systems today can deliver securely up to 10,000 alerts per second as demonstrated in Saudi Arabia and Australia. A 2015 report from EENA (The European Emergency Number Association) stated that: "The use of SMS has long been criticized for use in critical situations due to congestion in the network. However the capacity in the networks has been largely increased in recent years and used in the correct way SMS can be a solid, reliable and efficient way to reach citizens in a matter of urgency. One of the most obvious advantages of using SMS is that it works on any handset that can receive traditional SMS. No handset changes are required." 
Location-Based SMS solutions providers
- . Norway Today. 7 April 2017 https://norwaytoday.info/news/disaster-warning-via-sms/. Retrieved 11 November 2019. Missing or empty
- . Continuity Central. 17 September 2019 https://www.continuitycentral.com/index.php/news/company-and-markets-news/4421-iceland-rolls-out-nationwide-alerting-system-powered-by-everbridge. Retrieved 11 November 2019. Missing or empty
- "How Do You Save a Million People From a Cyclone? Ask a Poor State in India". New York Times. May 3, 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
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