A new service to be run on the Vodafone network called Bemilo will allow parents to remotely control their children’s access to mobile phone services, texting and even making telephone calls from their mobile. Parents will be able to buy a safety pack which contains a SIM card and then have to install it into a mobile phone and use it on a pay-as-you-go basis for a minimum of £2.95 a month.
The service will then allow parents to remotely control access the phone – including the ability to control the time of day when calls can be made/taken and allow or disallow certain contacts. For instance, a parent could switch off the phone during school hours by doing so remotely from a website on their computer.
It is understood that the service will help to protect children from mobile phone bullying. Statistics have shown that many children are still either receiving or sending texts or calls late into the night when they should be asleep and this is having a knock-on effect on their behaviour.
As a safety aspect of the service, even if nearly all the functions on the child’s phone are disabled, parents can always manage the handset in such a way that they are able to reach their children, and the child is able to contact them.