The jammer turns the phone into a vibration mode

In movies, dramas, restaurant dinners and even church services, the annoying ringing of mobile phones will soon become a thing of the past. The federal government will announce tomorrow that it will start a 90-day consultation period in April to ask Canadians about their views on the use of mobile phone silencers.

These devices (often referred to as cell phone jammers) include many technologies that allow the phone to turn off or automatically switch from the sound mode to the vibration mode when a call comes in. Jammers are illegal in Canada. In addition to being used by law enforcement and security officials, it may be popular among operators of restaurants, movie theaters, and other large public gathering places.

They are also useful in areas where cell phones and walkie-talkies may pose a threat to public safety. B. In airports where wireless signals may interfere with communications. They may also interfere with the operation of hospital equipment, such as incubators, defibrillators, and heart monitors. Terrorists use mobile phones to detonate bombs from a distance.

More than a year ago, Exxon and its Canadian subsidiary, Imperial Oil, began to announce at their gas stations that drivers should turn off their phones and extinguish cigarettes before refueling. This is a reaction to an unconfirmed story about a driver in Indonesia who triggered an explosion when a spark on his phone ignited the vapor.

David Warnes, a senior consultant for Industry Canada, said: “Mobile jammers have aroused widespread interest.” Last month, Hong Kong was a crazy city with about 6 million people and 5.2 million mobile phones. , Is considered to use a portable jammer. Japan relaxed its mobile interference rules more than two years ago and obtained permits in some public places such as theaters.

Global Protection & Intelligence Inc., headquartered in Los Angeles, is a distributor of mobile phone jammers, with models priced between $1,600 and $2,600. They prevent cell phone frequencies from entering a certain area, and more expensive models will interfere with larger areas. The briefcase-sized equipment sold by the company can cover a radius of about 150 meters, while the cigar box-sized model can keep the conference room without signal.

However, not everyone believes that having some people prevent others from communicating is a good idea. Jeremy Depow, an analyst at the Canadian Yankee Group based in Brockville, Ontario, said he was concerned that cell phone jammers (which would also neutralize pagers) would make medical professionals and others It is difficult for people to access mobile devices when they are on standby. He also said that curbing such growth industries is a bad idea. Marc Choma, the communications director of the Canadian Wireless Communications Association, said that “wireless etiquette” will eventually solve some users’ rudeness and carelessness. “As time goes by, people will get used to right and wrong.”

In the wireless industry, some wireless experts and US officials believe that cell phone jammers are also illegal, and they expressed concern that these devices will inevitably affect wireless devices that are used beyond the expected range. However, the technology company said that the jammer is now very advanced and can be used with high precision. It can also provide a panel to redirect the jamming signal, otherwise these jamming signals may overflow outside the target area. According to the manufacturer, the jammer can be set to only target the frequency used by the phone, so laptops and other wireless devices such as BlackBerry (failed pagers) will not be affected.

Canada’s decision to allow cell phone jammers is the latest move to bring order to the mobile industry, and the popularity of this technological frontier has exceeded the ability of regulators to control its use. Many hospitals, airports and concert halls have posted signs asking customers to turn off their phones. However, voluntary restrictions are not enough to make many loud callers the same as smokers who refuse to remove cigarette butts from the crowd. Choma said that by the end of 2000, Canada had 8.7 million mobile phone users, an increase of 1.8 million over the same period last year. Mr. Voarns of Industry Canada said that the three-month comment period will end on July 12, and the government is expected to make a decision on the legality of mobile jammers before the end of this year.