Cell Phone Blockers Intentionally Interfere With The Radio Frequency Spectrum

Since January 1, 2018, Switzerland and many EU countries/regions are strictly prohibited from importing and possessing cell phone jammer. Since the previous ban only applied to their sales and use in the market, regulations on these devices (also called "blockers" or "jammers") have been strengthened. cell phone jammer can be dangerous because they block all cellular communications and cause emergency calls. In most cases, advertisements for such devices are deceptive: they give the impression that their use is legal, and they cannot clearly indicate that even possession is illegal.

In the past, expensive and bulky cell phone jammer were limited to offsetting mobile phone traffic in the GSM 900 MHz frequency band, and technological developments followed. They have become smaller and cheaper, and can now destroy a large part of the spectrum. For some models, not only mobile phone frequency bands (GSM, UMTS, LTE, etc.), but also positioning systems (GPS, Glonass, Galileo, etc.), data transmission networks (WLAN, RLAN, WiMax, etc.) or wireless alarm systems are disturbed. Usage has also evolved. Although the devices were previously only used to prevent cell phone calls in trains, restaurants or movie theaters, they are now also used for criminal activities: theft of cars or trucks that transport valuable goods (by deactivating the location of the vehicle),

Due to the spread of interference, it is necessary to tighten the law: With the amendment of the Telecommunications Law (FMG) that came into effect on January 1, 2018, the import and possession of interference is prohibited. The manufacture, provision, placing on the market, debugging, construction and operation of these equipment should also be punished.

The use of cell phone jammer is strictly prohibited, because it not only causes inconvenience to users of the radio spectrum and encourages criminal activities, but it may also cause serious consequences for security. In this way, emergency calls can be blocked in the event of an accident or emergency services (such as the fire brigade, police or ambulance) sounding an alarm. This may also lead to serious problems in the civil aviation industry, with increasing use of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to improve navigation performance and air traffic control monitoring activities.

In FMG, the use of cell phone jammer deliberately interferes with the radio frequency spectrum and can be fined up to 100,000 Swiss francs. OFCOM will intervene systematically in this situation. It looks different in prison. Detainees use mobile phones to organize criminal activities or plan outbreaks. Another example is the decomposition of explosives that can be detonated by radio. FMG clearly stipulates that prison and police authorities can use jamming systems to prevent nearby cell phone calls. The operation of this system must be approved in advance by OFCOM.