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Busting the 112 myth

There still seems to be information out there that states that, in remote areas where there is no phone signal, by dialling 112 (instead of Triple Zero, 000) on your regular mobile or smart phone, that you will be connected to the emergency services.

So what’s the deal – what is a furphy (false) and what is dinkum (true)?

Let’s break it down.

DINKUM: 112 is a secondary emergency number that can be dialled from mobile phones in Australia.

DINKUM: Special capabilities, including roaming, once only existed when dialling 112, however mobile phones manufactured since January 2002 also provide these capabilities when dialling Triple Zero (000) to access the Emergency Call Service.

FURPHY: 112 calls will work if there is no mobile coverage by any network.

DINKUM: All that 112 will do is a) override your locked SIM card (tied to one specific phone network) or b) if you have no SIM card, allow you access another mobile network if it is available (probably Telstra as they have the largest coverage in Australia) to make the call.

FURPHY: 112 calls can work on regular mobile phones/smart phones when there is no mobile network via a satellite network. Satellite phones use a different technology and your mobile phone cannot access a satellite network.

DINKUM: If there is no coverage by any mobile phone network, then you will not be able to reach the Emergency Call Service via a mobile phone, regardless of which number you dialled, even if you have the Emergency + App.

DINKUM: 112 is an international standard emergency number which can only be dialled on a digital mobile phone (that is, 112 will not work on a landline phone for example). It is accepted as a secondary international emergency number in some parts of the world, including Australia, and can be dialled in areas of network coverage with the call automatically translated to that country’s emergency number. It does not require a SIM card or PIN to make the call, however phone coverage must be available (any carrier) for the call to proceed.

DINKUM: There is no advantage to dialling 112 over Triple Zero (000). Calls to 112 do not go to the head of the queue for emergency services.

FURPHY: It is the only number that will work on a mobile phone. Calls to Triple Zero will also get through if there is network coverage (any carrier).

FURPHY: Emergency services can be contacted using the Short Message Service (SMS) on your mobile telephone.

More information can be found at Triple Zero.