Can mobile phone jammers directly paralyze our network?

Ten years after the then fictional invention (in our column in Byte magazine) of a short cell phone jammer, the New York Times reports on November 4, 2007 that the device is now pretty real? and that it is used by people who like to use it: there seems to be a lot of stuff.

Andrew reached into his shirt pocket and pressed a button on a black device the size of a cigarette box. Has it sent a strong radio signal that interrupts the swindler’s cell phone transmission? and everyone else within a 30-foot radius.

Was she talking on her cell phone for about 30 seconds before realizing that no one was listening on the other end? he said. His reaction when he first discovered that he could exercise such power? Oh holy moly! Liberation.?

With cellphone use skyrocketing, making it difficult to avoid half a call in public places, a small but growing group of rebels are turning to a blunt countermeasure: the cellphone jammer that is causing nearby mobile devices to pass out ,

Here is our description written in 1997. The device was called “apoptosis”:

The word “apoptosis” comes from biology: it means “programmed cell death”. What is so wonderful about apoptosis? Just like that: it interrupts every cell phone call within earshot of you.

Apoptosis has an effective range of 15 feet – wide enough to do the job, narrow enough not to disrupt innocent neighbors’ phone connections.

Apoptosis is small and unremarkable. It fits on a keychain. It looks like a worry pearl. When someone nearby snaps, snaps, snatches a cell phone, you just take an innocent expression on your face, squeeze your little “worry pearl” and immediately see that your wish comes true: the cell phone connection of the idiot dies.

Immediately after the column appeared, readers bombarded us with questions about where to buy it? oh, then fictional? Product. The first non-fictional cell phone jamming products (as far as we know) appeared a year later, in 1998, an offer from a company in Japan, another from a company in Israel. The Times article mentions a company,, which now sells a variety of such devices.