Warning, interfering DECT equipment on the rise!

Interference on UMTS mobile telephone networks (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) has been increasing over recent months. Such interference is generated by DECT cordless phones (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) purchased outside Europe – for example in the US, South America, Canada or Asia – or on the internet. OFCOM has not excluded the possibility of billing those responsible for importing and operating such cordless phones for the cost of identifying and rectifying the source of interference.

OFCOM recommends that users purchase their DECT cordless telephones in specialist retailers in Switzerland or Europe in order to prevent interference on UMTS telephone networks. Such interference results in intervention by OFCOM and the taking out of service of the cordless equipment. Owners of such equipment who have themselves directly imported it, may be liable to the cost of the intervention performed by the Office.

Interference in UMTS networks

DECT equipment sold in North and South America or Asia use different frequency bands. In Europe, these are reserved for UMTS mobile telephony networks. Although manufacturers of such equipment do not offer it for sale on the European market, some devices are being used here and are causing interference on the UMTS mobile telephony networks. Over the last 12 months, OFCOM has had to intervene in over 100 cases notified by mobile telephone service providers. Analysis of such cases indicates that cordless telephones have either been brought to Switzerland from other parts of the world, or have been purchased on the internet.

The DECT technology developed in Europe specifically for this market has become accepted on the continent as the only technology for cordless telephones. Its success lies on the one hand with the Europe-wide harmonisation of the 1.8 GHz frequency band which is reserved exclusively for such telephones and because of its technical characteristics on the other. Competition on other markets, particularly in America, saw the technology forced to use other frequencies as a result of the different use of the frequency spectrum in the various regions of the world.

Specialist staff
Last modification 03.07.2018

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