Canadian carriers are informing customers about new LTE emergency alert system

Canadian carriers have until April 6, 2018 to implement emergency alert systems

CRTC website on phone

National carrier Bell has started informing subscribers about the upcoming implementation of the government’s LTE wireless public alerting (WPA) system.

A Bell SIM at the MobileSyrup office received a notification from the carrier yesterday evening, stating that “As of April 6, compatible devices will receive emergency alerts from the government Alert Ready Service.”

“Alerts will notify you of possible life-threatening situations that need immediate attention,” reads an excerpt from the Bell message.

Bell isn’t the only Canadian carrier preparing subscribers for the upcoming alert system’s implementation.

A Rogers spokesperson told MobileSyrup via email that the carrier will begin “informing customers this week.”

The company has also sent MobileSyrup a list of the devices currently compatible with LTE WPA:

  • Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
  • BlackBerry DTEK50, Priv and KEYone
  • LG Q6 and V30
  • Samsung S7, S7 Edge, S8, S8+, Note 8, Xcover 4, J3, S9, S9+
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
  • Huawei P10, P10 Plus, P10 Lite, Nova Plus and GR5

Additionally, all of the Rogers iPhone devices that support LTE and the LG G6 will be compatible at the time of launch.

A Telus spokesperson told MobileSyrup that the company “has begun today to inform its customers” about the LTE WPA system.

Freedom Mobile customers are now reporting receiving messages about the LTE WPA system as well.

The informative messages come in the wake of a March 8th, 2018 CRTC telecom decision, ordering Canada’s carriers to begin a public awareness and education campaign “in advance of the [April 6th, 2018] deadline for [wireless service providers] to implement WPA capability on their LTE networks.”

While Canadian carriers have until April 6th to enable their LTE networks to send out emergency alert messages, the systems won’t actually go live on that date.

The CRTC’s chief consumer officer Scott Shortliffe previously told the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence that, while carriers are expected to comply with the CRTC’s deadline, “this does not mean that Canadians can expect to receive emergency alerts of April this year.”

“The actual start date for the expanded service has not yet been determined,” said Shortliffe.

The Commission wants at least 50 percent of wireless devices sold by Canada’s telecoms to be able to receive LTE alerts by April 2018. The goal is 100 percent coverage by April 2019.

More information can be found on the Alert Ready website.

Update 13/03/2018 (5:10pm ET): Story updated with additional reporting.

Update 14/03/2018 (10:09am ET): Story updated with additional reporting.