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New wireless alert system to be tested on mobile devices across Canada

DO_NOT_USE_Metro News logo DO_NOT_USE_Metro News 2018-05-06 Hamdi Issawi - StarMetro Edmonton

Alert Ready, Canada's new emergency alert system, will be tested on mobile phones in Alberta on May 9, 2018 at 1:55 p.m. © Riziero Vertolli Alert Ready, Canada's new emergency alert system, will be tested on mobile phones in Alberta on May 9, 2018 at 1:55 p.m.

EDMONTON—Cellphones across the country will ring out this week as provincial and territorial agencies test a new alert system for Emergency Preparedness Week.

In a release issued Wednesday, Pelmorex Corp., the company that operates the system, announced that wireless devices in Ontario and Quebec will receive visual and audio alerts on May 7 to test Alert Ready, a national public alert system. The rest of the country, except Nunavut, will receive test alerts on May 9.

Albertans can expect to get notifications at 1:55 p.m. local time.

The test aims to familiarize the public with receiving mobile messages for emergencies like amber alerts or tornado warnings.

The test alert, broadcast by Canadian wireless service providers, is designed to appear on all mobile devices, such as phones, tablets and smartwatches that are connected to a 4G LTE network and have wireless public alert software installed.

Devices may also play an eight-second audio tone, depending on volume settings. Devices turned off during the test period will not receive an alert.

Unlike SMS text messages, the Alert Ready messages are one-way, operate on a separate channel and are not billed to subscribers.

Mobile users with the Alberta Emergency Alert app installed may receive a duplicate notification, but the Alberta Emergency Management Agency recommends leaving the app installed as Alert Ready functions as a complimentary service and not a replacement.

To confirm whether a mobile device is set up to receive Alert Ready messages, mobile subscribers are encouraged to contact their service providers.

The test is also schedule to broadcast over radio and television.

Television and radio alerts can be broadcast up to five times per year. However, the wireless alert for mobile phones will only go out once per year during Emergency Preparedness Week in the first week of May.

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