Emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time. Unexpected events that need for rapid aid are always a possibility, whether they be medical crises or natural catastrophes. In times like this, every second matters. It can potentially save many lives to have emergency services available via a dependable communication line. In India, messaging via text message, or SMS, has become a popular and efficient means of communicating in an emergency. The main advantages of employing emergency sms text service in india are covered in this article.
Reach to All
Because mobile phones are so widely used in India, across all demographics as well as geographical areas, SMS has an unequaled reach. As of 2021, there were more over 1 billion mobile phone users nationwide, including in the most isolated regions. All phone models, from entry-level feature phones to smartphones, support SMS technology. In India, feature phones are still widely used, particularly in rural regions. Both smartphones along with these phones support SMS. Furthermore, SMS services are accessible through any mobile network, regardless of the operator.
Users can receive SMSes only with a functional SIM card, not requiring an internet package or data connectivity. This makes SMS the only pan-India communication service that can reach people in locations with no broadband or WiFi access. Mobile towers provide coverage for SMS even in the most underdeveloped regions. Due to this unparalleled penetration across India, SMS has become a medium to instantly reach out to the masses. In emergencies like natural disasters, health crises or law and order situations, authorities can send SMS alerts to hundreds of millions of people simultaneously nationwide.
Reliability During Network Outages
SMS has a unique capability of working independently without requiring an active voice or data network connection. SMS messages are sent and stored in the SMSC (Short Message Service Center) maintained by the mobile network operator. If the network is available, messages are delivered instantly to recipients. However, even if the voice and data networks face an outage due to any reason, the SMS does not get affected. The SMSC will store the SMS until the network is restored and then automatically push all pending messages to the intended users. This offline message storage and delivery mechanism makes SMS highly resilient against any network disruptions.
During emergencies like natural disasters, the mobile networks often get overloaded or damaged, disrupting voice calls and internet access. However, SMS can still be used for communication as messages will continue exchanging in the backend via SMSCs. For example, if an earthquake cuts off the telecom towers in an area, people will not be able to make calls for help. But they can send an SMS SOS which will be stored and delivered once the network outage ends. Emergency responders too can keep coordinating rescue operations through SMSes exchanged during network downtime. They can alert people in affected regions about necessary precautions through SMS broadcasts.
SMS messages are delivered instantly without any delay. Once a message is sent, it reaches the recipient within seconds under normal network conditions. There is no waiting time for call connections to be established. This immediacy of SMS comes in handy for emergency situations that demand swift response. People can alert emergency services about medical emergencies or accidents through an SMS SOS with the assurance that help is on the way immediately. Timely delivery of SMS alerts is also critical for disaster management agencies to issue warnings and advisories to the public.
SMS does not consume much data. It works within the limits of text-based communication which requires very little bandwidth. Sending and receiving SMS also does not incur high usage charges for users. Emergency SMS services are often provided free of cost by mobile operators and authorities. This makes SMS accessible even to people from economically weaker sections of the society who may not be able to afford expensive voice calls or internet data packs. The affordability factor empowers more Indians to leverage SMS for seeking emergency help without worrying about phone bills or data costs.
No Frills Usability
SMS is a very basic and intuitive way of communication. Even those with limited digital literacy and technical skills can easily understand and use SMS. There are no complex menus, apps or internet browsing involved. Users just need to know their phone’s keypad to type and send an SMS SOS. This simplicity and hassle-free usability of SMS widens the reach of emergency services. Elderly people, differently-abled and children who may find other digital mediums difficult can independently use SMS in times of need. Emergency responders also find it convenient to disseminate safety advisories to the masses through SMS.
Advanced SMS systems supported by mobile networks have geo-tagging features. This allows emergency SMSes to be tagged with the location details of the user automatically. When someone sends an SMS SOS, emergency responders can immediately identify their geographical location without the caller having to provide address specifics verbally in a panicked state. Geo-tagging facilitates quicker mobilization of emergency resources like ambulances, police or fire tenders to the caller’s location. It proves to be a life-saving technology especially for those unable to communicate location due to injuries or other reasons.
Integration with Other Platforms
SMS emergency services can be seamlessly integrated with other communication platforms and databases for enhanced effectiveness. For example, SMS SOS numbers linked to computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems allow automatic registration of distress calls and real-time tracking of emergency response. Integration with government portals also helps verify identity and medical records of callers. Two-way communication is enabled through integration with emergency response teams’ communication networks. Such multi-platform integration leverages SMS to deliver end-to-end emergency assistance.
SMS and voicemail sms notification has emerged as a dependable medium for emergency communication in India due to its universal reach, reliability, immediacy, affordability and ease of use. When leveraged properly through integrated systems, SMS-based emergency services can help save many lives by facilitating faster mobilization of help. With continuous technological advancements, the role of SMS in public safety is expected to grow manifold in the country.