MobileSyrup has learned from an anonymous source that Bell will be preemptively contacting customers that might be affected by the first GPS Week Number rollover expected to take place on April 6th.
The GPS Week Number rollover impacts the ability of GPS-enabled devices, including some smartphones, to provide accurate location information. As the Boston Globe reports, think of it as a Y2K crisis, but for GPS navigation systems. The last time a rollover took place was about 20 years ago.
Services that might get affected include calling 911 and other platforms that utilize location data. While most phone manufacturers have configured their device in order to manage this rollover, Bell has learned that chips manufactured by MediaTek could be impacted.
Bell has started sending texts to customers that might be affected and redirecting them to the Bell.ca/GPSinfo website for more information.
The webpage will include information on how to address the issue and for the most part, customers might only need to make sure their smartphone is updated with the most recent software.
Phones that may be affected could be those that were sold in 2013 or before, including models from Alcatel (1 and A50, OneTouch Pixi 3, Idol X and Idol Mini), LG (Optimus L5 II), Sonim (Bolt SL, 2 and 2 IS) and Sony (Xperia XA).
The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) is working with Bell as well as other carriers to alert affected customers.