Verizon Apologizes After Faulty Emergency SMS Spooks Subs
Verizon Wireless accidentally sent an emergency alert via SMS to subscribers in several counties in New Jersey. Customers were urged to take shelter and flooded local police stations with phone calls. Verzon said the message was sent in error. "Around noon [on Monday] a test emergency notification text message was sent to customers in Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties in New Jersey,’" said Verizon in a statement. "This test message was not clearly identified as a test. We apologize for any inconvenience or concern this message may have caused."
RingPlus To Offer Free Phone Service
RingPlus today announced a new mobile phone service plan that is ad-supported, but completely free to the customer. The ads take the form of ringback tones, which RingPlus customers hear on outbound voice calls, after dialing but before the other party picks up.
Verizon Brings WiFi Calling to iPhone Via Message+ App
Verizon Wireless updated its Verizon Message+ app for iPhones, adding the ability to make phone calls over WiFi. In order for WiFi calling to work, Verizon iPhone owners will need to switch on the advanced calling function of their phone.
AT&T's Latest GoPhone Runs On AA Batteries
AT&T today announced the SpareOne Emergency Phone, a simple handset meant purely to serve as a backup phone for critical situations. The SpareOne runs on AA batteries, rather than a rechargeable lithium-polymer power cell.
Verizon Allowing Customers to Send Starbucks Gift Cards via Text
Verizon Wireless today announced that its customers can send Starbucks eGift cards to one another from within the Verizon Messages application. The application lets users pick a background, amount ($5, $10, or $25), and enter a short message.
FCC Proposes Updates to Emergency Alerts
The FCC wants to see wireless emergency alerts used more effectively and proposed several changes to improve them. Wireless emergency alerts have been used since 2012 to warn people about severe weather or other safety threats, alert them to missing children, and deliver other information via text messages.