Have you ever been in a nice quiet public place and all of a sudden you hear someone babbling on a cell phone, and they are practically yelling at the person on the other line and totally disrupting the quiet ambience of the place? I think that everyone has seen this type of cell phone "loud-talker" one time or another, and we all know how annoying they can be. Well, some overseas companies have found a solution to this problem with portable cell phone jammers, which work by emitting a powerful radio signal that cuts off the cell phone's transmission. Great idea-but there is one big problem- it's illegal in the U.S.!
Despite these cell phone jammers being illegal, they are on the rise according to some overseas manufacturers of the product. PhoneJammer.com is a cell phone jammer manufacturer in London. They say that there sales to the U.S. are up to 400 sales per month compared with 300 per month last year. They go on to say that holiday orders have exceeded 2,000 of these devices.
Cell Phone "Jammers": www.nytimes.com
These devices vary in price and effectiveness. You can get a cell phone jammer for as little as $50, which will have an effective range of several feet. Larger models will cost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, and they typically have a range of 10 or more feet. Some of the larger devices can provide a no-call zone where no cell phone devices will work within a certain radius. Smaller devices often are the size of a deck of cards and usually have a button to push in order to send out the radio signal.
People caught using these devices face pretty tough penalties by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). A first offense can cost upwards of an $11,000 fine. The FCC says that cell phone frequencies are protected just like television signal are, which is why the cell phone jammers are illegal.
Despite the strict penalties, people continue to purchase and use these devices. One cell phone jammer manufacturer in India says that his list of clients include café owners, hair salons, and even a school bus driver.
We've all been in a situation where a cell phone jammer would've saved us from getting a headache having to listen to someone yelling into their cell phone. Until they legalize these devices, though, we'll just have to hope their signal gets dropped by their own service provider, so that we can get some piece and quiet.
Source: The New York Times
Joe Eitel's Gadget Blog