Twelve Sprint mobile phones are currently capable of receiving the alerts
NEW YORK (BUSINESS WIRE), December 15, 2011 – Exactly one month after becoming the first U.S. carrier to launch Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on its mobile network, Sprint (NYSE:S, news, filings) continues to strive for reliable communication services during crisis situations by participating in the nation’s first test of the WEA system in New York City.
Taking place today, the WEA test will deliver a series of six different geo-targeted wireless alerts to multiple Sprint mobile phones strategically located in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.
The test will be conducted in conjunction with the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Federal Communications Commission and other wireless providers.
Wireless Emergency Alerts allow FEMA to accept and deliver warning messages to wireless networks from the president of the United States, the National Weather Service and state and local emergency operations centers. Sprint customers will be able to effectively and accurately receive warnings and safety information via text alerts to mobile phones that are equipped with the enabling software and based on their geographic location.
The availability of Wireless Emergency Alerts on Sprint’s network is the result of the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) – a national program established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to the Warning, Alert and Response Act passed by Congress in 2006.
During the next year, Sprint will continue working with FEMA, DHS, the FCC, and numerous state and local emergency agencies to successfully make the alerts available nationwide.
Using wireless emergency alerts on the Sprint network
Sprint’s customers can currently access wireless emergency alerts on the following devices:
HTC EVO Design 4GTM, HTC EVO 3D™, Kyocera BrioTM, Kyocera Duracore, Kyocera DuraMax, Kyocera MilanoTM, LG Marquee™, Samsung Galaxy S™ II, Epic™ 4G Touch, Samsung Trender™, Samsung Transform UltraTM, Sanyo Innuendo™ by Kyocera and Sanyo Vero™ by Kyocera. Starting in 2012, all new Sprint mobile phones will be equipped with the software necessary to receive wireless emergency alerts.
The 90-character messages will be delivered at no charge to the customer and have a distinctive vibration cadence and audio tone similar to what is heard for emergency alerts on broadcast television and radio. Additionally, notification of a wireless emergency alert will be distinguished in the handset’s messaging inbox with a distinctive icon.
On devices that are capable of receiving the alerts, Sprint customers can activate the service by dialing ##CMAS# or ##2627#, and choosing to “enable the CMAS client” when prompted.
The wireless emergency alerts will be available in three categories – Presidential Alerts, Imminent Threats to Life and Property, and AMBER Alerts – and provide mobile users an additional tool for learning of impending danger in relation to their current location. Wireless users can opt out of all message types with the exception of presidential alerts.
Some potential examples of these alerts include:
- An emergency message could be targeted to cell phones at a stadium event, informing attendees of where to go or what direction to drive following a nearby highway accident or chemical spill.
- Emergency information related to wildfires, mudslides, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes could be targeted to residents in specific neighborhoods or along routes where the danger is greatest.
- Students and faculty across a campus could be quickly informed when lockdown conditions are necessary because of a threat.
- If a suspicious package were reported in an airport, shopping mall or office complex, thousands could receive messages to move to a certain area until the threat was removed.
- Potential witnesses can learn of recently missing or abducted children in their immediate area.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 53 million customers at the end of 3Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index showed Sprint is the #1 most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over the last three years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Crystal Davis, 703-592-8139