CTIA, T-Mobile Urge FCC to Keep WEA ‘Blue Alert’ Simple

September 13, 2017

Reprinted from Inside Towers

CTIA-the Wireless Association and T-Mobile have weighed in on the FCC’s proposal to add a Blue Alert code to Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and the broadcast Emergency Alert System (EAS). Blue Alerts, meant to signal a police officer is in danger, can be transmitted to cell phones and wireless devices, broadcast stations, overhead highway message signs, and other secondary alerting mechanisms – in the same way Amber Alerts are issued.

The FCC proposes calling the new event code “BLU” and classifying it as either an Imminent Threat Alert or a Public Safety Message, depending on the circumstances. CTIA and T-Mobile tell the agency in filed comments, Blue Alerts could be incorporated into the existing WEA as an imminent threat without any new standards or system modifications. “This approach would allow the integration of a dedicated ‘BLU’ code within an existing alert class, without the delay that would result from new testing requirements and network/handset modifications,” says CTIA. “Notably, integration as an Imminent Threat alert would allow a seamless delivery of Blue Alerts to all WEA-capable mobile devices, including legacy devices.”