Network jamming devices capable of blocking mobile phone calls are creeping into the UK, despite warnings from the Radio Communications Agency that these devices are illegal and cause chaos for business and personal communications. The latest of these products to emerge is the Wave Wall, manufactured in Japan and the size of a cigarette packet. It blocks radiowaves within a six metre radius, and renders mobile phones mute, as if they had been turned off or been taken beyond the range of the service area. Wave Wall retails at around #285 and works by sending out signals on the same frequencies as those used by incoming and outgoing calls and blocking them. The Radio Communications Agency has notified several Israeli companies advertising these products on the Internet that they are illegal in the UK. The Agency would not confirm whether it had contacted Wave Wall's maker. Wave Wall is designed for use in restaurants, cinemas, libraries and other public places to prevent intrusive phone calls. "In the wrong hands, these products have the potential to block communication links causing disruption and chaos," said Jos White, marketing director at UK Internet integration company, Star. White said he had witnessed the product working in the US. "People don't realise how reliant society is on mobile communication until its use is threatened," he argued. "We would urge the government to take a close look at how these products are getting into the country and prevent the problem from starting here." Network jamming presents health dangers, aside from problems of cost to businesses and inconvenience to private users. Malicious jammers run the risk of blocking emergency calls to doctors and paramedics. It is also possible that such devices would interfere with pacemakers. The Radio Communications Agency advises pacemaker patients not to carry mobile phones close to the chest. "This technology should be kept firmly at arm's length," concluded White. Radio Communications Agency 0171 211 0211.
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