24 February 2005

SOS? Dial 112 on your mobile

Got this mail from a friend. Not sure how true it is, but if it really exists, then would be pretty useful. Try it for yourself!!!

Mobile users anywhere in India can reach the police by simply dialling 112 - even if they are in a non-coverage area.believe it or not, the service has been around for nearly a decade but few people are aware of the emergency access number that puts callers in touch with the nearest police station no matter where they are.

Even Delhi's police chief was blissfully unaware of the system."There is no separate number. We have only the 100 number that diverts calls to police control rooms," Delhi Police Commissioner K.K. Paul told IANS.

But an IANS correspondent quickly found out that the Delhi Police Control Room could indeed be reached by dialling 112.

A policewoman there admitted: "We have been receiving some calls to check whether the number actually works or not. But it is alright."

What is unique about the service is that the number can be dialled from any GSM (global system for mobile communications) phone, even if the user is out of coverage area.

One does not even need to have a SIM card in the phone to access the service. Only CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) phones cannot avail of this facility.

"It was introduced in 1995 when we launched our network," claimed Viraj Chauhan, deputy general manager (corporate communications) of Bharti Televenture Ltd, one of the companies that offer mobile services in India.

Dialling 112 connects the caller to the local emergency number, which in the case of India is the police control room that can also be accessed by dialling 100.

The 112 service is billed as the international standard emergency access number.

Chauhan said all GSM mobile users have access to the service from the minute their connection is activated. And it is toll free.

"I agree that there has not been much of publicity (for the service). But the number is mentioned in the starter kit provided to customers along with a new connection. Maybe, many overlook it," he said.

Besides Bharti's Airtel mobile service, India has a host of companies like Idea Cellular Ltd, Hutch, BPL Cellular Ltd and the state-owned BSNL that offer GSM services.

All digital GSM mobile phones are manufactured with this number programmed into them as a default. That's how a user can still dial the emergency number no matter where he is or even if he does not have a SIM card in the phone.

Incidentally, 112 is also the European Union's equivalent of the US 911 number. So the next time you face an emergency and have a GSM mobile, dial 112.


Chakra Sampath said...

Wonder how u cd make the call without the SIM. Is it real? or is it something like "a 12 yr Indian boy has written the world's powerful operating system" - a mail that has been doing round ever since Internet came into being.

If its real, it needs to be popularised.. it wd certainly save a life or two.

Aravinth said...

This is true. and mostly you get it as emergency calls only or SOS.

Anonymous said...

It is true Chakra, you should be able to make emergency call anywhere (theoretically) without the SIM


PVS said...

Thanks for the confirmation. I was having my doubts about this too.

Indian Voter said...

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PVS said...

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