In some situations, radio signals can cause interference to other electronic devices. The GSMA supported research on the compatibility of GSM, GPRS and 3G signals from handsets with consumer and medical electronics.
Consumer and Medical Electronics
The Telstra Research Laboratories (Australia) investigated the compatibility of mobile communication signals with a sample of consumer electronics and common medical devices. For many devices there was little chance of interference when the mobile phone was separated by greater than a couple of metres. As 3G phones generally use lower power they were less likely to cause interference. In the case of medical devices, interference was unlikely at separations of more than 1-2m.
We are currently supporting work by the House Ear Institute (USA) on compatibility of a range of wireless technologies with hearing aids. Current performance requirements in some hearing aid compatibility standards are based on a limited pool of data that may be unrepresentative of the full range of hearing aid users. The work by House Ear Institute aims to obtain more robust measures of audio signal-to-interference ratios that affect usability from an adequate and representative sample of hearing aid users. The results will contribute to the on-going development of hearing aid compatibility standards in the US and internationally.
Evaluation of Potential GPRS 900/1800-MHz and WCDMA 1900-MHz Interference to Consumer Electronics, Iskra et al, IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility, 47(4):951-962, November 2005.
Potential GPRS 900/1800MHz and WCDMA 1900-MHz Interference to Medical Devices, Iskra et al, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 54(10):1858-1866, October 2007.