AT&T Microcell & WEA

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by CosmoPilot, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #1
    Last night we were issued a Tornado warning. My daughter's iPhone5 alerted her via the new WEA. My wife and I did not receive the alert.

    My daughter was at work (2 blocks away) connected to AT&T cell towers. My wife and I were at home connected to our Microcell.

    I'm wondering if the Microcell prevents these location based alerts? Has anyone with a Microcell received an Amber or WEA alert?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #2
    AT&T just pushed out the amber alerts update less then a week ago, so most people probably don't have the update installed. I think you need update 14.2 to get amber alerts. The microcell shouldn't matter, because it has a gps location constantly updated to at&t.
     
  3. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #3
    AT&T's carrier update 14.1 included the Amber, WEA, & Presidential Alerts (CMAS). I updated to this the first day it was available (couple weeks ago). I've not received any alerts yet to test it's functionality.

    However, yesterday's tornado warning in my location should have triggered it. It did my daughters iphone, but not mine or my wife's. The only difference between the phones at the time were my wife and I being connected to the microcell.

    Not being a jerk, but my OP is pretty clear. Has anyone received CMAS Alerts when connected to a microcell? I understand they have GPS (I own one), but that does not mean AT&T can push these alerts through them. These alerts are not based on SMS technology.
     
  4. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #4
    You know what, I take back what I wrote above. I got both the 14.1 and 14.2 updates from at&t and I have a microcell. When I got each update, I could see the amber alerts in the settings menu. I no longer can see these settings and I have a microcell at my home. So at&t might have pulled away these updates or settings for microcell users.

    The good news is, there are enough emergency weather apps to get these type of alerts and if you're home, you'll be able to see bad weather approaching.
     
  5. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #5
    I got 14.2 yesterday, and still show Amber Alerts under notifications. A quick Google of 14.2 reveals its a mystery update as nobody at this time knows what it provided.

    The main reason I'm asking these questions, is because we are looking to purchase a weather alert radio for those occasions when a tornado warning is issued while we are asleep.

    I was hoping the CMAS functionality would be my answer. The notification of 3rd party apps would not wake me up. Additionally, I use Do Not Disturb a lot, and my understanding is CMAS alerts still provide aural warnings regardless.
     
  6. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #6
    Bump

    Anyone confirm CMAS Alerts when connected to Microcell?
     
  7. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #7
    I worked with some folks who implemented CMAS, but I've been unable to get in touch with them.

    I also ran what should have been illuminating searches on CMAS and femtocells/microcells, and really nothing is coming up.

    So I'm wondering if CMAS really only works on a cell/sector level and just doesn't work with these devices. As a recap, the government agency issuing a CMAS alert selects the area that's supposed to get the alert (counties, or drawn shapes on a map, such as a box or rectangle or circle), and each of the cell service providers figures out which of their cells and sectors should carry the alert, and then they send it out.

    I don't know if femtocells/microcells actually report their GPS position back to the cell network, or if they do, if the network stores or uses it.

    In the femtocell design I peripherally worked on 5 years ago, the GPS was used for internal timing adjustments, and to make sure that the unit wasn't being used in a location where it wasn't legal.

    I don't have ready access to the whole CMAS standards doc at the moment, so I'm no help there. The people designing CMAS may have just decided to punt on microcells/femtocells.
     
  8. SlithyToves macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    #8
    FWIW, I have never received a CMAS alert while connected to my AT&T microcell (femtocell).

    I have received an alert when I was a block away from my house (so on the public network at the time). After returning home, my wife commented that she had not gotten the alert on her phone. When we left the house an hour later, she got the alert shortly after her phone roamed back to the public network.

    So, not conclusive, but combined with your experience, it does suggest that the microcells (at least AT&T's) do not pass CMAS alerts.
     

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