Cell phone jammers can prevent you and other persons from making 911 and other emergency calls. They can also create dangerous risks to public safety communications in addition to interfering with other forms of daily communication.

This article explains how signal jammers work, why they are illegal in the United States, what to do if authorized communication is being jammed, and what Cellbusters can do if you have a question or inquiry about cell phone jammers.

How Cell Phone Jammers Work

Cell phone jammers work by emitting a Radio Frequency (RF) signal that is stronger than the power from the nearest cell phone base station or cell phone tower. The frequency of the RF signal is similar to the signal employed by cellular phone carriers and renders the phone unstable. The jamming occurs with the downlink signal. When your phone is being jammed, you will not see any signal bars on your phone.

Cell phone jammers will not only block the signal, but because the jammer has overpowered all of the cellular frequency, you will not be able to conduct a 911 emergency call. This is one of the primary reasons that mobile phone jammers are so dangerous, in addition to inhibiting routine communications and the reception of public safety messages or announcements. By using one, a person has created a potentially hazardous situation if someone has an urgent need for mobile communication.

For these reasons, cell phone jammers are illegal in many countries. If a person uses one in the United States, they are breaking federal law.

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Cell Phone Jamming is Prohibited in the USA

Like many countries, the United States prohibits the employment of cell phone jammers in practically every use case.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, “Federal law prohibits the operation, marketing, or sale of any type of jamming equipment that interferes with authorized radio communications, including cellular and Personal Communication Services (PCS), police radar, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).”

It is also illegal to sell, distribute, advertise, import, or market jamming devices to consumers in the United States. The use or marketing of a jammer in the U.S. may subject a person to:

  • significant monetary penalties (fines of up to $11,000)
  • seizure of the unlawful equipment
  • criminal sanctions including imprisonment

There are no exemptions for use within a residence, business, vehicle, or classroom. Local law enforcement agencies do not have independent authority to use jamming equipment. Jamming equipment employment by federal law enforcement agencies is authorized in accordance with applicable statutes only in certain limited exceptions.

Though signal jamming is prohibited, cell phone detectors are legal in the United States.

What to Do if Authorized Communication is Being Jammed

Do you suspect that a signal jammer may be causing interference? Bad network connections can be caused by a variety of factors including:

  • faulty equipment
  • physical obstructions that block the signal
  • lawful devices that are operating on the same frequencies

Before filing an interference complaint via the FCC Consumer Complaint Center, you should troubleshoot equipment and connectivity issues in accordance with manufacturer and service provider recommendations. In addition to consulting your owner’s manual and the company’s tech support, searching the Internet for your device/model and specific issue may help to either identify or rule out possible causes.

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Find Out More about Cell Phone Jammers and Legal Detection Solutions

For some of Cellbusters’ overseas customers, we provide cell phone jamming solutions in conjunction with our cell phone detection technology. We call this combination of solutions “jamming on demand.” In this situation, a Zone Protector will be programmed to turn on the cell phone jammer when it detects a phone transmission is taking place. When the detected transmission stops, the jammer is turned off.

If you have additional questions about cell phone jammers and/or cell phone detectors, you can: