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Yemelyan Fomichev
Yemelyan Fomichev

Google Is About To Become Its Own Wireless Carrier

Authorized public safety officials send WEA alerts through FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to participating wireless carriers, which then push the alerts to compatible mobile devices in the affected area.

Google is about to become its own wireless carrier


Consumers do not need to sign up for this service. WEA allows government officials to send emergency alerts to all subscribers with WEA-capable devices if their wireless carrier participates in the program.

Consumers should check with their wireless carrier regarding the availability of WEA-capable handsets. In addition, CTIA, a wireless trade association, publishes lists of WEA-capable phones offered by the largest wireless providers.

Participation in WEA by wireless carriers is widespread but voluntary. Some carriers may offer WEA over all or parts of their service areas or over all or only some of their wireless devices. Other carriers may not offer WEA at all. Even if you have WEA-enabled device, you would not receive WEAs in a service area where the provider is not offering WEA or if your device is roaming on a provider network that does not support the WEA service. Consumers should check with their wireless carriers to determine the extent to which they are offering WEA.

Partially. Participating wireless carriers may offer subscribers with WEA-capable handsets the ability to block alerts involving imminent threats to safety of life and/or AMBER Alerts. Consumers cannot block National alerts.

This "enhanced geotargeting" relies on new smartphone technology and will be increasingly available as consumers upgrade their devices. CTIA, a U.S. wireless association, estimates that 60 percent of consumers' smartphones supported this enhancement in 2022, an increase from about 34 percent in 2021 and 18 percent in 2020. WEA-compatible phones that do not support enhanced geotargeting will still receive alerts based on the 2017 geographic area requirements.

No, the FCC does not send alerts. WEA alert originators include other federal agencies (such as the National Weather Service) and state and local government authorities. Alerts from authenticated public safety officials are sent through FEMA's IPAWS system to participating wireless carriers.

For questions about how WEA works on specific devices, check with your wireless provider. For example, the method to turn optional WEA alerts on and off may vary. (The FCC recommends keeping these potentially life-saving alerts on.)

Limited time offer; subject to change. Plus tax. Qualifying service required; credit approval and deposit may be required. $35 device connection charge due at sale. Limit on amount financed per account may apply. If you cancel wireless service, remaining balance becomes due.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless carrier had previously compared its $50/month TVision Live TV+ service to the standard $65/month YouTube TV plan. However, YouTube TV offers additional perks such as unlimited cloud DVR storage, while T-Mobile limited cloud DVR storage to 100 hours. T-Mobile is also partnering with Philo as its basic live TV service, available for $10/month.

Because almost all US-market phones will work on any of the big three carriers, we paid no attention to the phones each carrier or service sells on its own site and in its own stores. Nor did we factor in the promotions that wireless services throw out for each new iPhone.

Setting up the SIM card and getting my number transferred was a breeze; you can do this all from home so you don't have to worry about waiting in line at a carrier store. Years ago, Google even replaced my out-of-warranty Google Fi Nexus 6P (which had a battery issue) with a new Pixel XL for free.

NOTE: If you choose to transfer your number, we'll work with your current wireless carrier to confirm the transfer and contact you if there are any issues. Your phone number won't actually be transferred to Cricket until you activate. 350c69d7ab


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