National Weather Service Emergency Alerts Start Today
The National Weather Service today announced that its text-message emergency alert system goes live starting today. The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) service, a joint effort between U.S. wireless network operators and the federal government, will deliver text message warnings to cell phone users based on a number of potential hazards, including tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, dust storms, extreme winds, blizzards, and ice storms. The messages are delivered based on location, so even those who are traveling will receive alerts for where they are, not where they live, if there's danger. Carriers participating in the program include AT&T, Cellcom, Cricket, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. The alerts are not sent via the traditional SMS pipes, and are instead delivered through a system that is not affected by network congestion. The WAE can also deliver both AMBER Alerts and Presidential Alerts. Wireless subscribers can opt out of AMBER and Weather Alerts but not Presidential Alerts.
Sprint Targeting a Fall Launch for VoLTE
Sprint expects to deploy voice over LTE across its network starting this fall. Sprint competitors AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless already offer VoLTE across the bulk of their footprints, making Spring the last major carrier to deploy the upgraded voice technology.
AT&T Follows T-Mo and Verizon, to Offer Free Olympic Roaming
AT&T today said that like its competitors T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, it will offer customers the opportunity to use their mobile devices during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games at no extra cost. Specifically, AT&T will waive the $10 fee normally charged for the AT&T International Day Pass.
Republican Senators Want It to Be Illegal for US Gov to Use Huawei or ZTE Equipment
Republican Senators today introduced a new bill that would prevent the U.S. government from using telecommunications equipment from either Huawei or ZTE.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G Modem to Connect First 5G Networks and Devices
Qualcomm today said various network operators plan to use its Snapdragon X50 5G modem in trials this year, while a number of device makers have selected the X50 for mobile gear due next year. According to Qualcomm, the carriers committed to the X50 include AT&T, British Telecom, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Telstra, Verizon, and others.
ZTE Says Intel Chiefs' Fears Unfounded, Its Phones No Threat
ZTE says American consumers have no reason to fear its cell phones. The company issued a statement after the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA and other intelligence groups suggested that Americans should not purchase phones made by ZTE and Huawei.