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New wireless alert system to be tested on mobile devices across Canada

New wireless alert system to be tested on mobile devices across Canada

The test aims to familiarize the public with receiving mobile messages for emergencies.

"That's why we do testing, to make sure that the connection is OK", he said. "I'd rather have the problem right now and isolate the issues and fix the code if there's code problems than have to wait", said Sampson.

The Alert Ready Emergency Alert System got a dress rehearsal of sorts for a real emergency Monday with two test assessments, the first in Quebec at 9:55 a.m., and a second in Ontario at 1:55 p.m. But past year, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission mandated that wireless carriers participate as well.

"The alerts are actually coming from the emergency management in the region and then it goes to Pelmorex", Valladao said.

In an email to The Canadian Press, Pelmorex issued a statement explaining what happened.

Valladao said that in a code sequence that was entered manually by a Pelmorex employee, a space was included incorrectly, which prevented the system from sending the message in Quebec through wireless phones. Alerts were successful on TV and radio on Monday.

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Radio and TV stations ran the tests successfully, according Blanchet.

Valladao also pointed out that this was the goal of the test - and it was not a real emergency. "That's why they were running tests - to see if something went wrong". "In this one, the misconfiguration was quickly corrected", she said. In Ontario only some phones received the message.

The tests were being conducted after the CRTC ordered wireless providers to implement the system to distribute warnings of imminent safety threats, such as tornadoes, floods, Amber Alerts or terrorist threats.

"The CRTC has no insights with respect to what occurred in Hawaii, other than what has been reported in the media", the regulator said.

The alert system is created to notify the public of imminent disaster or emergency such as a tornado warning, a biological threat of some kind, or the spill of hazardous materials.

In Canada, warnings about emergencies are not text or SMS messages, and distributed using the so-called technology of cell broadcast. However, devices that are turned off or are not in an LTE coverage area will not receive a notification.