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  • Wireless Emergency Alerts Come to iPhone 5 and 4S AT&T Users


    The second largest wireless carrier in the U.S., AT&T, recently announced that it will be pushing out an update to subscribers who own an iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S with the new software supporting an FCC-mandated Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. The system will allow iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S owners to receive government-issued safety messages in the form of text-like messages.

    It was the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, non-profit trade organization for the wireless industry CTIA, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency who cooperated to create the WEA system. As noted on the CTIA’s website, WEA-capable mobile devices originally began receiving alerts in April of 2012.

    For those of you wondering about what types of alerts you’ll be getting, you should know that there are three types of alerts which are broken down into the following:

    • Presidential Alerts – Alerts issued by the President or a designee;
    • Imminent Threat Alerts – Alerts that include severe man-made or natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc., where an imminent threat to life or property exists; and
    • AMBER Alerts– Alerts that meet the U.S. Department of Justice's criteria to help law enforcement search for and locate an abducted child.
    Although the alerts come to users in something resembling a text message, the system actually uses different, faster technology instead. Subscribers also will not be charged for any incoming alerts.

    According to AT&T, iPhones running iOS 6.1 or later will have the update automatically downloaded and installed over the air, while those running an older version of iOS will have to connect to iTunes to receive the update.

    Source: AT&T (blog), CTIA
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Wireless Emergency Alerts Come to iPhone 5 and 4S AT&T Users started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 56 Comments
    1. BhadKarma's Avatar
      BhadKarma -
      Quote Originally Posted by Channan View Post
      iPhone 3GS and 4 owners aren't important enough to be warned they're in danger. :/
      Ahhhh! I'm
      Gonna die !!! And not be warned !!!
    1. morbidpete's Avatar
      morbidpete -
      The alerts are pushed to the towers in the affected or relevant area. So only users in the area will receive the alert regardless of billing zip code or phone area code. Calm down people.
    1. clikzip's Avatar
      clikzip -
      Alot of people talking about the NSA monitoring our phone activity. Im amazed that was a shock to anyone. All part of the patriot act signed after 9/11. They monitor everything were doing.
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      Just got the alerts enabled. I use DND so I hope the alerts won't wake me up at night. Unless the alerts override DND.
    1. GenesisDH's Avatar
      GenesisDH -
      They will help in areas where people don't have access to TV/radio and may not hear the outdoor sirens. WEA are a good thing that's been implemented.
      Have they been implemented on Sprint iPhones? I don't recall if they have. T-Mobile has them implemented, so we almost have the major carriers covered now.
      Quote Originally Posted by vinaygoel2000 View Post
      Just got the alerts enabled. I use DND so I hope the alerts won't wake me up at night. Unless the alerts override DND.
      IIRC, they do override and for good reason.
    1. morbidpete's Avatar
      morbidpete -
      I have had it with sprint fir some time now. Received a few for flooding, 2 hurricanes and the blizzard nemo
    1. WithinTemptationFan's Avatar
      WithinTemptationFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
      First the NSA, now this?!?!?! WHAT THE ****. Can we combat this with a jailbreak tweak?
      I find this rather helpful.i don't know why you don't feel the same way.
    1. dolo69's Avatar
      dolo69 -
      I have iphone 5 on att on 6.1.2. It is jailbroken with the evasi0n jailbreak. The jailbreak blocks all the updates, how do I get the emergency alerts now while being jailbroken?
    1. jwil736's Avatar
      jwil736 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dolo69 View Post
      I have iphone 5 on att on 6.1.2. It is jailbroken with the evasi0n jailbreak. The jailbreak blocks all the updates, how do I get the emergency alerts now while being jailbroken?
      Go to Settings - General - About
      Should get a carrier update message.
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      Jailbreak does not block carrier alerts. Jailbreak opens the firmware of Apple, not of AT&T. I got a carrier change update and I am jailbroken.
    1. jwil736's Avatar
      jwil736 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
      Jailbreak does not block carrier alerts. Jailbreak opens the firmware of Apple, not of AT&T. I got a carrier change update and I am jailbroken.
      Correct me if I'm wrong but... Didn't evasi0n block apple's OTA updates?
      I'm sure that's where he got confused.
    1. dolo69's Avatar
      dolo69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
      Jailbreak does not block carrier alerts. Jailbreak opens the firmware of Apple, not of AT&T. I got a carrier change update and I am jailbroken.
      I have the att hack that enables faster download speeds. Does this matter
    1. hogcia's Avatar
      hogcia -
      I'm disabling this ASAP. Don't trust it at all. Just another "sneaky" way for the (you know who) to track us!
    1. jwil736's Avatar
      jwil736 -
      Quote Originally Posted by hogcia View Post
      I'm disabling this ASAP. Don't trust it at all. Just another "sneaky" way for the (you know who) to track us!
      LOL you remind me of one of my employees that thinks he was abducted by aliens and has a tracker in him. He also refuses to go on the Internet at home because big brother is watching him.
    1. dolo69's Avatar
      dolo69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
      Jailbreak does not block carrier alerts. Jailbreak opens the firmware of Apple, not of AT&T. I got a carrier change update and I am jailbroken.
      I have the hacked att carrier update. Could this be why I'm not getting the carrier update? The hacked carrier update is 14.1 already. Do I have to uninstall it first
    1. jwil736's Avatar
      jwil736 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dolo69 View Post
      I have the hacked att carrier update. Could this be why I'm not getting the carrier update? The hacked carrier update is 14.1 already. Do I have to uninstall it first
      I would say that would be a good bet.
    1. ThatOneProfile's Avatar
      ThatOneProfile -
      Quote Originally Posted by WithinTemptationFan View Post
      I find this rather helpful.i don't know why you don't feel the same way.
      You're assuming everyone lives under a rock. This is a useless feature that is a cover up for the admin. fee they recently added. Call it what you want. You obviously need to wake up.
    1. WithinTemptationFan's Avatar
      WithinTemptationFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThatOneProfile View Post
      You're assuming everyone lives under a rock. This is a useless feature that is a cover up for the admin. fee they recently added. Call it what you want. You obviously need to wake up.
      And you obviously need to lighten up a little bit,but thanks for your comment. *sarcasm*
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by that_girl View Post
      To the people complaining, why? This is a good thing. I want to be alerted about emergencies. It's about time AT&T got this.
      I would like to be alerted if there is a tornado in the area or a warning in the area because it would be faster knowing this way than not knowing at all while I am at work. There are only a few of us that are in the building in the evening so we wouldn't get the intercom warning like day shift does.
    1. MikePA's Avatar
      MikePA -
      Great, we can now receive messages directly from Dear Leader.