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Wireless Emergency Alerts

Wireless Emergency Alerts or “WEA” messages are messages delivered at no additional charge to your wireless subscriber device as part of a public safety system provided by authorized alert originators. The alerts are designed to inform you of imminent threats to safety from weather, for example, or when authorities are searching for a missing person in your area, such as an AMBER Alert.

To receive WEA messages, you must have a capable device and be located in an area targeted by the alert originator that sends it.

Although Virgin Mobile’s network is capable of delivering WEA messages, not all areas of the country are capable of issuing WEA messages and not all Virgin Mobile devices are capable of receiving WEA messages (see below for more information). The FCC requires that Virgin Mobile provide the following notice:

NOTICE REGARDING TRANSMISSION OF WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERTS (Commercial Mobile Alert Service)

Virgin Mobile has chosen to offer wireless emergency alerts, including enhanced geo-targeting, within portions of its service area, as defined by the terms and conditions of its service agreement, on wireless emergency alert capable devices. There is no additional charge for these wireless emergency alerts.

Wireless emergency alerts, including enhanced geo-targeting, may not be available on all devices or in the entire service area, or if a subscriber is outside of the Virgin Mobile service area. For details on the availability of this service and wireless emergency alert capable devices, including the availability and benefits of enhanced geo-targeting, please ask a sales representative, or go to www.virginmobileusa.com/wea.

Notice required by FCC Rule 47 CFR 10.240/250 (Wireless Emergency Alerts/Commercial Mobile Alert Service)

There are different types of WEA messages:

  • Presidential Alerts – This kind of alert can only be sent by the President of the United States.
  • Imminent Threat – This kind of alert is categorized as either Extreme or Severe. Examples of this type of alert might be a weather alert or a chemical spill.
  • AMBER Alerts – America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response or “AMBER” Alerts can be sent as a WEA message.
  • Public Safety Alert – Allows public safety agencies to communicate directly with the public.
  • WEA messages are sent from public safety entities certified by their State government and the Department of Homeland Security and are broadcast to a geographic area, not to specific phones.
    • Wireless subscribers using capable devices in that area should receive the alerts.
  • In order to receive WEA messages, your phone must be connected to the Virgin Mobile network or one of our roaming partners that have agreed to provide WEA over their wireless networks.

No. Customers do not pay any messaging or data fees or incur any usage when receiving WEA messages.

No. Customers are automatically enrolled to receive WEA messages and will receive WEA messages provided they have a WEA supported device. See below for a list of WEA capable devices.

You can opt in or opt out of receiving most WEA messages, with the exception of Presidential Alerts. See your phone’s User Manual for more information about Settings.

Your location isn't requested, provided or maintained in the delivery of a WEA message, which are broadcast within specific areas determined by alert originators. All devices compatible with WEA that are located within a targeted zone and attached to a participating wireless network should receive a WEA message intended for that specific area, assuming the device has opted-in to receive messages.

Wireless Emergency Alerts are sent to cell sites providing wireless service to very specific areas. Your device may have been receiving service in a different area, or even from an adjacent area cell site, which wasn't targeted by the alert.

Most WEA alerts will be re-broadcast several times to reach the maximum number of devices in the targeted area. Once a device has received an alert, it won't accept duplicate or identical alerts.

Alerts will only be received by capable devices. A list of WEA-capable Virgin Mobile devices can be found below. Without a capable device, you won't receive an alert even if you are within the targeted geographic location. Additionally, certain geographic areas of our network might not fully support all new features being introduced for WEA messages, such as enhanced geo-targeting. See sprint.com/wea for more details.

Devices receiving WEA Alerts can also receive special geo-targeting information which may preclude your device from alerting. This functionality is required by law and will be supported on newer product lines into the future. The purpose of these geo-targeted messages is to only alert people in areas that will be directly affected by events in that area so as to avoid inconvenience or annoyance to those outside of the geo-targeted area.

Most Virgin Mobile mobile devices capable of supporting voice and messaging sold since 2012 support basic WEA.

  • Newer WEA enhancements include expanding character length of WEA messages from 90 to 360 and supporting embedded links to internet sites or telephone numbers, concurrent presentation of a WEA message, Spanish language support, public safety alerts, state & local testing, and enhanced geo-targeting.
  • See below for a list of mobile devices that support newer WEA enhancements.

If you have a WEA-capable phone, access your Settings for Messaging to enable Imminent Threat alerts and AMBER Alerts.

Manufacturer Device Model Supports newer WEA enhancements Supports enhanced geo-targeting
Apple iPhone 11 Yes Yes
iPhone 11 Pro Yes Yes
iPhone 11 Pro Max Yes Yes
iPhone XR Yes Yes
iPhone XS Yes Yes
iPhone XS Max Yes Yes
iPhone 8 Yes No
iPhone 8 Plus Yes No
iPhone X Yes No
iPhone 7 Yes No
iPhone 7 Plus Yes No
iPhone SE Yes No
iPhone 6S Yes No
iPhone 6S Plus Yes No
iPhone 6 Yes No
iPhone 6 Plus Yes No
iPhone 5S Yes No
LG Stylo 5 Yes No
Samsung GS9 Yes No
GS10e Yes No

Some devices may require you to download and install a software update for WEA enhancements. Check your device for available software updates.

All these devices were launched after 2012 and support basic WEA