Japanese mobile phone users could receive earthquake warnings

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mobile.pngJapan’s two largest mobile phone operators—NTT DoCoMo and KDDI—have said that they are jointly working on an earthquake early warning system for their customers.

The Japanese meteorological agency has developed a system whereby earthquakes can be detected several seconds before the main tremor strikes, by measuring underground tremors and estimating their intensity.

The two companies did not say what type of messaging system they would use to pass on these alerts, but acknowledged that email, which is a common mobile communication method in Japan, would risk overwhelming their networks.

The third largest operator, Softbank, said that it was separately working on its own mobile early warning system.

Andy Merrett