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TeleCommunication Systems Enables PBS Warning, Alert and Response Network Connection to FEMA

by david.nunes
TeleCommunication Systems Enables PBS Warning, Alert and Response Network Connection to FEMA

ANNAPOLIS, Md. and ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 16, 2013 – TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS), a world leader in highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology, and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) today announced that PBS has connected its Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s alert aggregator using a customized implementation of TCS’ Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) gateway product. When fully operational, PBS WARN will allow cellular providers a free backup method of receiving Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) messages. The connection to FEMA is a key step in implementing the WARN project and providing this service to cellular companies.

News Facts:

  • The PBS WARN system will deliver CMAS emergency alerts (also known as WEA) via free, over-the-air digital TV signals broadcast by PBSmember stations and other non-commercial licensees who receive the PBS satellite feed. Cell phone subscribers of participating carriers in the geo-targeted area will receive these critical messages as 90-character text messages with a unique alert tone.
  • WEA messages include presidential emergency alerts, AMBER Alerts and warnings of imminent national and local threats to life and property, such as natural and man-made disasters.
  • Serving as a redundant pathway for the FEMA’s WEA emergency notifications, the PBS WARN system will provide wireless carriers with a reliable and cost-effective method for strengthening their connection to FEMA and ensuring that mobile subscribers stay informed during times of emergency.
  • Established by the WARN Act in 2006, WEA is a voluntary national emergency alert system that is designed to deliver critical messages to the public.
  • This standards-based service utilizes the Common Alert Protocol (CAP), the international next generation emergency alert standard, and allows government entities to more quickly and easily issue emergency alerts to a mobile operator’s subscribers in geo-targeted areas. By utilizing this international standard, mobile operators are able to tie directly into a government’s existing alert stream that may already be used with radio and TV broadcast mediums.
  • As one of the few vendors serving national mobile network operators, the U.S. government and public safety officials, TCS provides mission-critical, life-saving technology that is currently deployed and field tested with national and regional commercial mobile service providers (CMSPs).
  • TCS’ CMAS is built on the proven, patented and highly resilient TCS Voyager™ platform, used today in emergency-based and mission-critical TCS solutions.
  • The PBS WARN system is based on a customized implementation of TCS’ CMAS gateway product, is FEMA-certified with full compliance to the J-STD-101 “C” interface specification and has been independently validated and verified by FEMA using the J-STD-102 standard test plan.

Supporting Quotes:

Dana Golub, executive director of WARN for PBS, said, “From being involved with the creation of the WEA standards to the design and installation of their CMAS solutions, we have benefitted immensely from TCS’ knowledge and experience. Helping to notify the public of emergencies, disasters and other important events is a natural extension of PBS’ mission, so we are thrilled to have reached this important milestone.”

TCS Vice President, Business Development & Mobility Solutions Keith Bhatia said, “PBS is dedicated to serving the interests of American citizens, and they have taken this dedication to a new level by implementing PBS WARN as a redundant gateway for WEA messages. Through their member stations, PBS will serve as an invaluable conduit for CMSPs whenever emergency messages need to be transmitted.”

Over the past year, TCS’ highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology powered the delivery of nearly a trillion text messages and over 65 million wireless emergency calls. TCS wireless technology also serves U.S. military customers with mission-critical solutions. TCS operates the only non-operator TL 9000-certified network operations centers supporting E9-1-1, and supports next generation emergency, text messaging and location-based solutions. Wireless operators across the United States and abroad use TCS emergency alerting technology. A member of the TIA and ATIS standards bodies, TCS has been actively involved in WEA-related standards working sessions since January 2008.

About PBS

PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 120 million people through television and nearly 29 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by followingPBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available atpbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

About TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.

TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS) is a world leader in highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology. TCS infrastructure forms the foundation for market leading solutions in E9-1-1, text messaging, commercial location and deployable wireless communications. TCS is at the forefront of new mobile cloud computing services providing wireless applications for navigation, hyper-local search, asset tracking, social applications and telematics. Millions of consumers around the world use TCS wireless apps as a fundamental part of their daily lives. Government agencies utilize TCS’ cyber security expertise, professional services, and highly secure deployable satellite solutions for mission-critical communications. Headquartered in Annapolis, MD, TCS maintains technical, service and sales offices around the world. To learn more about emerging and innovative wireless technologies, visit www.telecomsys.com.


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