Government Technology

Emergency Alerting Server Sends Critical Alerts Over SMS and Wi-Fi

September 12, 2008 By

Yesterday, Amika Mobile in partnership with Meru Networks introduced an emergency notification system that operates over Wi-Fi networks, enabling delivery of potentially life-saving alerts not only to mobile phones but to any devices connected to a wireless local area network (LAN).

Alerts are transmitted via short message service (SMS) text message to any mobile phone or any Wi-Fi device. Both e-mail and voice are also supported. The system also supports the inclusion of images with the broadcast of the alert, providing recipients with additional information about where to go.

"Emergency events such as campus shootings and lockdowns have created a critical need for the immediate broadcast and delivery of simultaneous alerts on mobile devices to all members of the affected community within seconds," said Sue Abu-Hakima, President/ CEO of Amika Mobile. "SMS is important, but most carriers cannot deliver mobile phone connectivity everywhere. With Wi-Fi, any device connected to an access point receives an alert immediately." An added benefit of the Wi-Fi connectivity , Abu-Hakima explained, is that it "reduces the need to collect and maintain mobile phone numbers."

Amika Mobile's server complies with FEMA's FPC 65 legislative directive, which mandates all levels of government implement emergency notification eystems in preparation for declaring and acting on a catastrophe.

Amika Mobile's Emergency Alerting Edition Server uses Meru Networks' single-channel wireless LAN solution as a platform for sending reliable emergency messages over Wi-Fi links across campuses, cities or other large areas. Because it utilizes both text messages and Wi-Fi to send such alerts, the server can reach greater numbers of people more reliably in less time than an SMS-only system.

"Meru's single-channel, virtual cell architecture is ideally suited for such systems because it minimizes co-channel interference and eliminates the 'handoff' issues that arise with other approaches when users move between access points," Rachna Ahlawat, Meru's vice president of marketing, explained.

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