Deaf News: NDCS warns hearing aids may fail if radio frequencies are sold

Posted on August 26, 2016

The National Deaf Children’s Society has warned that the government’s plans to sell off radio frequencies which are used by mobile phones may have an adverse effect on hearing aids.

Extract from the Telegraph: 

A government auction of radio frequencies could render thousands of hearing aids and implants useless, a charity has claimed.

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) said the auction to mobile phone companies could leave an inadequate protection zone between the frequency range used by technology such as hearing aids, cochlear implants and radio aid and the band up for offer.

Ofcom said the NDCS’s concerns were “alarmist”, and said it had carried out careful tests to ensure devices would not be affected by mobile signals.

Many hearing devices all operate within the 2.40 to 2.485 GHz frequency range.

Ofcom is proposing to auction the 2.35 to 2.39 GHz frequencies, leaving a 10 MHz protection zone between the two bands.

The NDCS said this “might not be enough” to prevent interference from mobile telephone networks using 4G, and warned that “at worst” the use of these frequencies could cause equipment to malfunction or fail altogether.

The charity is urging Ofcom and the Media Secretary Karen Bradley to put the auction on hold while more testing is carried out.

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