Apkudo Helps the Department of Homeland Security Improve Emergency Alert System

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Technology responsible for AMBER and presidential alerts undergoes Apkudo Experience Analysis Testing

October 14, 2014 – Baltimore, MD – Apkudo, the device quality assurance company, today announced that it has successfully completed Device Experience Analysis testing on the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) service. This work was sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate.

WEA emergency messages are sent by authorized government alert originators through mobile carrier networks, and may include extreme weather information or other threatening emergencies in specific regions, AMBER alerts, and presidential alerts during national emergencies.

WEA messages appear on subscribers’ mobile devices in a manner similar to text messages, but use cellular broadcast to ensure they are delivered immediately, avoiding any potential congestion or delays on wireless networks. Unlike text messages, WEA messages are location aware, which allows them to be sent to mobile subscribers within a specific geographic area.

Successfully implementing WEA requires that potentially life-saving alerts appear on a variety of handheld devices on multiple service provider networks. Messages should prompt recipients to respond appropriately. It is crucial the information can be seen and acted upon regardless of the recipient’s device or network, which is where Apkudo helps.

Apkudo created a custom Device Experience Analysis testing methodology that examines how WEA interacts in the mobile ecosystems. Fifty (50) devices comprised of Apple, Android, Windows and Blackberry operating systems were tested for the DHS-sponsored work, on four top-tier – and smaller – carrier networks, to provide statistically representative results.

Apkudo received support from Rohde & Schwarz, a global Test and Measurement supplier for the wireless industry. An R&S CMW500 radio communications tester was used, which supports multiple mobile wireless technologies in a single box, and with CMWCards, a graphical test script tool that makes it easier to create wireless signaling tests.

The tests examined whether the various devices were able to implement WEA. For example, they looked at whether the device could implement WEA without crashing or failing, whether it performed the expected response under each setting, alert type, and scenario, and whether the device performed in a manner that was accessible, intuitive, and pleasing to the recipient.

“Lives will depend on the WEA service working properly, so having an accurate picture of how the technology will perform in real-world situations is incredibly important,” said Josh Matthews, co-founder and CEO of Apkudo. “The Apkudo Device Experience Analysis testing – assisted by the industry-leading equipment from Rohde & Schwarz – provided DHS with valuable information, and helped to enhance the alert service.”

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