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You are here: Home > Frequently asked questions > How will it work on mobile phones? > How current is my last known location?

How current is my last known location?

Telstra, Optus and Vodafone update the last known location of your mobile telephone in many different ways when it interacts with the network, such as by making or receiving a call or text message.

The networks update automatically the location of all mobiles registering on them every hour, even if a mobile telephone has not made or received a call or text in that time.  The carriers use this information as the “last known location” for the purposes of Emergency Alert when a mobile is inactive.  However, on Optus’ and Vodafone’s 4G networks, this information is not yet compatible with the system they use for their Emergency Alert Location Based Solutions.

Telstra’s 4G location detection systems are fully compatible with their Emergency Alert Location Based Solution.

The compatibility gap on the Optus and Vodafone 4G networks could affect Optus’ and Vodafone’s 4G customers who:

  • are connected to the 4G network when a location-based Emergency Alert is issued and
  • have not made or received a call or sent or received an SMS in the preceding hour.

This is because Optus’ and Vodafone’s systems may not have location information for these 4G mobile phones that is compatible with their Emergency Alert Location Based Solutions.

4G mobile telephones used outside 4G network coverage areas revert to the 2G/3G networks, where they can still be detected by Optus and Vodafone (as well as Telstra) and sent a warning message using the Emergency Alert Location Based Solution.

All 4G mobile telephones on the 4G networks will continue to receive messages based on their registered service address when this is within the warning area.

Optus and Vodafone continue to work towards the introduction of 4G capabilities compatible with the location-based Emergency Alert.

Mobile telephones switched off or outside a network coverage area will not have their location updated and, therefore, the carriers cannot detect them and they will not receive a warning message from Emergency Alert.

Anyone wanting more information about 4G compatibility with Emergency Alert should contact their mobile service provider.