I recently found this page of settings in on my phone under Cyanogenmod, I had never even heard of this system before.

mobile broadcast settings
mobile broadcast settings (click to enlarge)

Are there any examples of this system being used in the past?


1 Answer 1


Yes. They're called Wireless Emergency Alerts in the USA. The underlying standardized technology is called cell broadcast, and is part of the telecommunication standards your phone supports.

The system is not without problems: There was a thing in California in 2013 over the first use of the system giving utterly irreverent information (sending the alert to people hundreds of miles from the event), presumably due to poor implementation.

  • Ah, I see it's an American system, that's why I had probably never even heard of it living in the UK.
    – Ben
    Commented Oct 4, 2013 at 9:51
  • No, it is not only American system. I have seen it being used in Baltics (Europe). See android.stackexchange.com/q/157567/9897 Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 15:35
  • Lithuania has used that system during the COVID-19 pandemic, e.g. to inform people about restrictions entering into force. However, this does not seem to work on CyanogenMod/LineageOS.
    – user149408
    Commented Jan 19, 2021 at 14:06
  • @user149408: In general it does work on LineageOS (it's been part of core Android / AOSP since Android 11). But there are many things that can go wrong...
    – sleske
    Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 7:21
  • @sleske yes, Android has the functionality, but I have two devices running different versions of CM/LOS which didn’t display anything on several occasions when my company iPhone got an alert. Others have noted this as well, seems this is indeed broken in LOS, see gitlab.com/LineageOS/issues/android/-/issues/3667.
    – user149408
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 13:12

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