Canadians to receive test wireless public alert on Nov. 28

Canadians encouraged to check their devices compatibility and upgrade software

OTTAWA, Nov. 20, 2018 /CNW/ – Alert Ready, Canada’s emergency alerting system, will be sending out a test alert next week and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) is encouraging Canadians from coast to coast to learn how their wireless devices will be part of it.

As part of a general test of the alert system, government agencies across Canada will be distributing a message to compatible wireless devices, as well as TV and radio, on Wednesday, November 28 at 1:55 p.m. local time (2:55 p.m. local time in Québec).

“Alert Ready is designed to deliver critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians, and this test will help educate Canadians on what an emergency alert will look and sound like in the event of a life-threatening situation,” said CWTA President and CEO Robert Ghiz.

Wireless public alerts are another example of how wireless has become integral to the lives of Canadians. Since the launch of wireless alerts in April, more than 100 emergency alerts have been successfully transmitted and credited with saving lives, most notably the tornadoes in Ottawa and Gatineau on September 21. Testing the system allows us to ensure it is working as intended and to learn what areas need adjustments so that we can be better prepared for the next real emergency.

“Emergency alerts that people receive on their wireless devices begin with a distinct sound, known as the Canadian Alerting Attention Signal, and will also vibrate” said Ghiz. “The sound will generally play at the volume your device is set to and, depending on your device, can override all of your settings. Most devices have multiple setting controls for different features such as ringtones, media, notifications and system alerts.”

CWTA is reminding users that not every wireless device will necessarily receive the alert.

“There are a number of reasons why a person’s device might not receive the alert,” said Ghiz. “Everything from device compatibility, connection to an LTE network at the time of the alert, and device software and settings can have an impact on whether or not the alert comes through. As important first steps, Canadians are encouraged to check their device compatibility on their wireless service provider’s website, and ensure that their device has the latest software update installed.”

Ghiz notes that alert issuers – the federal, provincial and territorial governments – determine when an emergency alert will be issued, and to what area(s). Alerts are only issued in threat to life situations. Wireless service providers are last-mile distributors, and do not define, manage or interfere with the content or timing of the alerts.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) requires that 50% of new devices available for sale in Canada must be compatible with Alert Ready; this requirement increases to 100% by April 2019. Over time, more devices will be compatible and more Canadians will receive the alerts on their wireless devices.

Canadians who want to see if their device is compatible with the wireless public alert system are encouraged to visit their provider’s website. Additional information is also available by visiting AlertReady.ca.

About CWTA
The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) is the authority on wireless issues, developments and trends in Canada. It represents companies that provide services and products across the wireless sector. Representing the industry before all levels of government and various regulatory agencies, CWTA actively promotes the industry with the goal of ensuring continued growth of the wireless sector in Canada. CWTA administers a number of initiatives on behalf of its members, including corporate social responsibility programs and the national common short codes program.

SOURCE Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association

For further information: Greg Burch, 204-250-9244, communications@cwta.ca