Alcatel-Lucent today announced the commercial availability of its broadcast message center (BMC) solution that is designed to help wireless carriers comply with new federal emergency-alert standards and help them generate new revenue streams through location-based advertising.

With the BMC, service providers can send targeted government-agency text alerts to mobile users in an affected location, as part of the FCC’s Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) that must be operational in April 2012, said Jay Bhatt, product manager for Alcatel-Lucent. All mobile users must receive presidential alerts, but users may opt to not receive imminent-threat and Amber alerts through the system, he said.

“We’ve been selected by three Tier 1 operators and have been working with them to get this service deployed in their network,” Bhatt said.

With the ability to support CDMA, GSM and UMTS networks, Alcatel-Lucent’s BMC is generally available and has been tested in pilot deployments in the state of Florida and the state of California, Bhatt said. Carriers are expected to test their CMAS systems during the first quarter of 2011, and most Tier 1 providers are trying to have the alerting systems operational during the third quarter of 2011, when Alcatel-Lucent plans to have a software module available that will support LTE networks, he said.

In addition to providing the emergency-alert capability, the Alcatel-Lucent BMC also can be used for commercial purposes, such as enterprise-level alerting and advertising to targeted users.

"They’ve all had to make investments [in CMAS equipment],” said Morgan Wright, Alcatel-Lucent’s vice president of global mission-critical communications. “However, their ability to have people opt in to commercial message broadcasting — advertising — allows them to start creating revenue streams to help recoup that investment in the equipment they have to put up if they do this alerting."