The IDF Homefront Command today successfully tested its emergency SMS system to alert about incoming missiles. Mobile carriers Pelephone Communications Ltd. and Cellcom Israel Ltd. participated in the trial, but Partner Communications Ltd. stayed out because of a dispute with the Homefront Command.
The trial simulated an incoming missile to alert people in the estimated target area. 250 soldiers in Ofakim participated in the trial.
The Homefront Command will conduct a series of tests of the SMS alert system nationwide, with the participation of the mobile carriers.
Hebrew language website Israel Defense reports that Partner asked the Ministry of Defense to stop the test, because one of the company’s mobile phones, the Samsung C5130, crashes when the alert system is activated, with the result that owners of this phone do not receive the alert. Partner says that tens of thousands of its subscribers have this mobile phone. To overcome the problem, subscribers will either have to upgrade their phones or open it with telephone assistance, which Partner cannot do on short notice. In addition, subscribers who opt not to upgrade their phone are liable to injury, which Partner refuse to accept responsibility for.
The Homefront Command believes that the solution to the problem is easy, had Partner been prepared to make the same kind of effort as Cellcom and Pelephone, because the SMS alert system is a life-saving system. Homefront Command says that they checked with Samsung, who said that the upgrade was easy to carry out.