Yesterday my friend sent me a message reading: “OMG! I got an emergency text!” She’d gotten a text alert from the National Weather Service on her iPhone regarding the ginormous blizzard barreling down on the Northeast. I was put out because why hadn’t I gotten a message, too?!? What if I hadn’t been warned by the current media blitz?!?!? It’s all because she has Sprint and I’m an AT&T wireless customer.
The good folks over at All Things D explain this apparent slight, which is old news going back to Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy. The problem lies in the fact that AT&T hasn’t updated its LTE network to give it the ability to push alerts on certain devices. Older phones running on the HSPA network may have gotten the NWS alerts and probably have a lot more emergency booze stockpiled now than I do.
The alert system was started last year and allows local, state and federal government agencies like the NWS to send short messages about impending weather, new Amber Alerts or even a presidential decree. Every major carrier and some smaller ones utilize the program but certain areas and phones might not be covered.
AT&T hopes that alerts will be running on the LTE network by the end of 2013. Click here for more info from the carrier on the program.
So until then, just make sure you don’t miss every single media outlet/old coworker on Facebook in the Northeast talking about whichever blizzard or storm is coming and continue to use the sense of sight to detect snow outside the window.