Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Cell phones interfering with police radios, causing communication problems

"Denver Police say the growing number of cell phones is causing big problems for officers. They are having difficulty using their radios in some places because of interference from cell phone towers.

"At one point, there were 24 dead spots where officers could not reach dispatchers or hear calls from fellow officers.

"When officers near a cell phone transmitter and are far from their own tower, their radios are overpowered by the cell phone transmitters. Many of the spots are in high traffic areas, where officers need the radios most. In the dead zones, they cannot send out emergency signals when they are in trouble."

[...]

"No tragedies have occurred because of the interference, but it has affected police in several situations."

[...]

"Every Denver patrol car has a cell phone assigned to it, but in an emergency, the phones are not as reliable as a radio."

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a ham radio operator once about how radios are more reliable in times of crisis. I'm wondering if the amateur radio community has been affected by cell phone signals much yet. At the moment they seem more concerned about broadband over power lines than cell phones.

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