Mobiles sold in India must have panic button from 2017

telecomasia.net

India's telecoms ministry will mandate that all mobile phones sold in the country from 2017 must include a 'panic button' providing easy access to emergency services.

As part of the new norms phones sold from 2018 will also have to include GPS navigation systems.

BBC News reports that while it is not yet clear what form the panic button system will take, it is likely to allow customers to call emergency services by pressing or holding a single button or pressing the power button several times in a row.

The regulation also applies to feature phones, and will likely be achieved by holding down a button on the keypad.

The move forms part of a wider campaign to help ensure the safety of women in the wake of growing reports of violence including rape and molestation. Women's safety has been a political priority since the high-profile fatal gang rape of a 23 year old student on a Delhi bus in 2012.

While India currently lacks a central number for calling emergency services, the government is aiming to introduce one this year.

Manufacturers selling devices in India - including international smartphone giants like Apple and Samsung - will need to be compliant with the new regulations from next year.

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