FCC To Launch Disaster Alert System For Cell Phones – Only For High End Phones

Cnet reports –

The Federal Communications Commission is expanding its familiar emergency alert system notifications sent over TV and radio to now include mobile phones. Dubbing the new service PLAN (Personal Localized Alerting Network), the government would target the alerts in the form of text messages sent to cell phones of people who need or want to be notified in the event of an emergency. Developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), PLAN would allow customers of any participating wireless carrier to turn their phones into personal alert systems. The service will initially launch in New York City by the end of this year but is expected to roll out nationwide in 2012 through support from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. To receive the alerts, a mobile phone must be outfitted with a certain hardware chip, typically found in higher-end phones like the newer iPhone, according to The New York Times. A software upgrade is also required.

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