RIDGELAND, Miss.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--C Spire Wireless customers will begin receiving free, location-based notifications on capable mobile phones under a new national public safety warning system designed to alert consumers during emergencies.
Wireless carriers voluntarily broadcast the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) over their networks in cooperation with state and federal authorities under the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) program, but only after extensive testing and certification by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
C Spire recently received final FEMA approval to begin broadcasting the text-like, 90 character messages designed to warn consumers about severe weather threats, missing persons or Presidential alerts during national emergencies. Customers can opt out of weather and missing person alerts by adjusting their device notification settings, but Presidential alerts are mandatory.
“Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency,” said Eric Hollingsworth, vice president of Network Operations for C Spire Wireless. “With WEA, warnings can be sent to your phone when you’re in harm’s way without the need to download an app or subscribe to a service.”
C Spire currently offers 11 WEA-capable devices, which are identified with a special logo both in stores and online. The devices include the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S*, iPhone 4*, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy S 4, Motorola PHOTON Q XT 897, Motorola Milestone X2, Motorola Defy XT 556, HTC One V 6290, BlackBerry Curve 9310 and 9330. The company plans to soon introduce its latest Android smartphone – the HTC One – and that device as well as all other smartphones manufactured and introduced beginning this year are WEA-capable.
In addition, the company has developed a specialized WEA client-based application for smartphones running on Android 2.1 and higher mobile operating systems. The free FEMA-approved app, called C Spire Emergency Alerts, can be downloaded from the Google Play store or from the C Spire website at www.cspire.com/cmas.
Hollingsworth said the WEA messages feature a special tone and vibration that is repeated twice so users can easily identify these types of emergency alerts. In some smartphone models, there may be an audible warning.
The alerts are targeted to specific geographic areas where threats occur and Hollingsworth said customers will receive the message if they travel into an area where an alert has been issued or if they are already within the area using a WEA-capable device.
The alerts are required under the Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act, a 2006 law that established a voluntary, national emergency alert system called for by President Bush in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the U.S. that killed 3,000 people, damaged the Pentagon and destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City.
For more information about Wireless Emergency Alerts and CMAS on the C Spire network, go to www.cspire.com/cmas.
About C Spire Wireless
C Spire Wireless is a diversified wireless communications and technology services company passionately committed to making wireless service conveniently personal. The company is the first in the U.S. to personalize customers’ experience by powering its fast 3G and 4G LTE networks with extensive optical fiber infrastructure, offering plans with unlimited elements, products and services with key customer-inspired elements and the industry’s first engagement-based rewards program. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire Wireless and its products and services, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire, Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire, Google + or www.pinterest.com/cspirewireless.