Some people with mobile phones saw or heard Wednesday’s emergency alert test and others did not but SaskTel is still calling it a success on their end.
Saskatchewan residents took to social media and texted News Talk Radio at 306-306 to report varying results, with many people saying they didn’t get an alert at all.
Tests of the system earlier in the week in Quebec and Ontario also revealed problems.
But according to SaskTel, a test won’t reach everyone because not every customer will have a device capable of receiving it.
“If a customer hasn’t got the most up to date operating system or they weren’t in an LTE served area, we wouldn’t expect them to see the alert,” explained Greg Jacobs, manager of SaskTel’s external communications.
SaskTel is a “last-mile distributor” which means the alert is issued by a government body, like an alert agency, that pushes it to the wireless carrier that then pushes it through to their customers.
For SaskTel, the test was a success. They received the alert and then pushed it on to their 600,000 wireless customers.
“Really from a capable device perspective, we’re talking about 400,000 customers that could have received it, but after that they have to have gotten the update and be on the LTE network,” Jacobs said.
No alerts were registered on mobile devices in Quebec, while only some mobile subscribers in Ontario received the signal.
System operators blamed the Quebec malfunction on a computer coding error and were still investigating what went wrong in Ontario.
Jacobs encouraged customers to educate themselves about how the emergency alert system operates and what they can do to ensure they receive it.
— With files from Kevin Martel