Mobile network ‘Three’ suffers issues with UK Emergency Alert test

The alert sent to mobile devices. Note the Welsh translation sent to devices in Wales.

Customers of the UK’s fourth largest mobile operator, Three, have complained they didn’t receive the UK Government’s Emergency Alerts test notification, or that it was delayed by several minutes.

The alert, sent to all UK mobile phones on 4G or 5G networks, was the first large-scale test of the UK Government’s Emergency Alerts system.

It was meant to be sent at 15:00 on Sunday, but some people have reported getting it as early as 14:55, and as late as 15:15, with many never getting it at all.

However, users on other mobile operators have also complained of not receiving the alert. O2, Vodafone, and EE all seem to have missed some devices as well.

The service is meant to warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby. In an emergency, your mobile phone or tablet should receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe.

According to, you may get alerts about “severe flooding, fires, or extreme weather.

“Emergency alerts will only be sent by the emergency services, government departments, agencies, and public bodies that deal with emergencies.”

The alert sounds a loud siren-like noise from compatible smartphones, even if the device is on silent.

One Twitter user joked: “I fear I’ll never get over this emergency alert. The inside of my nose hurts and my hands are *still* trembling”.

Another disappointed user wrote: “I have never felt so left out as I do not having got the emergency alert.”

Did you get the alert? Let me know: