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US Carriers and Government Consider Cell Broadcast

Article Comments  23  

Dec 10, 2006, 5:27 PM   by (staff)

Last month CellCast held a test of cellular broadcast systems with several state and local government representatives, as well as staff from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Cell Broadcast allows an operator or authorized agency to send out a text message to every phone on a cell, in an area or on the entire network at once. Instead of sending out an individual SMS to each phone, broadcast works by sending out a cell-wide signal that all phones receive at once. The government has recently become interested in the technology as one component of a broad new plan to update the Emergency Broadcast System, since one of the new requirements is a warning sent to cellular subscribers. The Federal government tested an unspecified cellular technology for disaster alerts in July, with the intention of having a nationwide system in place by the end of 2007. Although the FCC and other Federal agencies have been previously uninterested in cellular broadcast, it has gained traction as an possible standard among both local governments as well as carriers. Many local governments are already setting up opt-in messaging networks for residents in lieu of an official solution from carriers and the federal government.

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This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.


Dec 12, 2006, 5:39 PM

pre-paid too?

Would these text messages also get sent to pre-paid customers too? and what if a suspect to an amber alert is using a cell phone?
no, you get nothing cheap-o!

Dec 11, 2006, 8:58 AM

Neat Idea - Just Don't Overuse It

I think this is a nifty idea since it can alert people for the area they are in (especially handy when traveling since you wouldn't have to do anything to make it work). I would just hope they really limit how much they use the system and also keep down those "weekly" tests that seem to come up every day on TV, radio, etc!

This isn't directly related, but Amber Alerts like that would be handy as well since it can alert people by the masses FAST which can hopefully get people on the road to notice a vehicle that may be suspect's. I know several carriers offer this now, but how many people subscribe it it, let alone know its available?
I think the Amber Alert would be a great idea... and it would reach sooo many more people so much faster than the news or radio. I do I sign up?
Fairfax County in Virginia has an opt-in system for emergency alerts. It only sends out a message you when there is a severe weather alert, amber alert, or severe traffic problem (eg. Medevac/several car pileup). I haven't looked at the settings in a ...
I don't like this idea. The old Emergency Broadcast Network worked because the messages were live - you could only get the message when it was relevant. Text messages sit on your phone until you read them, which means you may "receive" an emergency ...

Dec 11, 2006, 10:31 AM

"This is just a test of the Emergency Broadcasting Network"

I can see it now..........the annoying beep and message that we hear on the radio....we will now hear on our cellular's LOL Laughing
Just image everyone's cell phone going off at once Laughing

Dec 11, 2006, 1:19 AM


My area uses Emergency Broadcast System everytime there is a thunder storm... hope they don't send me a txt msg.
Hey it'll be free. And plus, if you're out with a group of friends and an EBS text comes your way, you can make up some story like "oh dude this one hot chick totally just texted me" and it will make you seem real cool.

Dec 11, 2006, 11:17 PM

is it safe to assume

that this would be an LBS? or would this be something that would go by your billing zip code, or what? did i miss something in the article?

Dec 11, 2006, 5:23 PM


The United States government recommends you leave the metro area as a nuclear attack is imminent.
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