Last week, Verizon Wireless conducted a large-scale test of the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS, also known as Wireless Emergency Alerts, or WEA). As we approach the deployment of CMAS in April 2012, more testing of this system is likely to occur. Customers should understand that any CMAS messages they receive are only a test. However, mobile customers will surely be looking for additional information on CMAS if and when they receive a message.
If you do receive a message and would like to learn more, we recommend first contacting your wireless carrier’s customer service line. The carriers will have the most accurate information about testing, and the customer service representatives are likely trained in responding to these questions.
Can my device receive a CMAS message?
Customers should know that not all mobile devices are CMAS-ready, so not all devices on a given carrier will receive a message during testing. If you receive a test message while someone nearby on the same carrier does not, do not fret–your device has not been singled out by any conspiracy. If you are curious whether your device is CMAS-ready, we previously posted a list of capable devices on each carrier, along with links to each carrier’s page on CMAS/WEA. We have heard anecdotally that some previously non-capable devices have received updates over the air to become CMAS-ready. If you have received such an update, please let us know.
Not all carriers will be testing CMAS at the same time. For example, Verizon customers may not receive test messages while Sprint customers do.