What Is A Signal Jammer & How Does It Work?

Written by Alejandra Jasso
22nd Mar 2024

Frequently Asked Questions About Cell Phone Jammers

You've probably heard about cell phone jammers. They indeed block incoming and outgoing phone calls, texts, and data transmission. This blog will answer various questions regarding signal jammers. So, let's get started:

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What is A Signal Jammer?

A signal jammer is a device that purposefully disrupts the connection between a device and its signal source. For example, a cell phone jammer blocks communication between a cell tower and a mobile phone.

Developed for use by the military and law enforcement, these devices were originally created to combat threats like cell phone-triggered explosives and hostage situations.

How Do Cell Phone Jammers Work?

Known as cell jammers, mobile phone jammers, signal blockers, GPS jammers, or text stoppers, a cell phone signal jammer's main objective is to seize cellular connectivity in a specific area.

They jam signals by transmitting on the same radio frequencies as cell phones. This is known as a "denial-of-service attack." When in range of the jamming device, mobile devices will not work.

Less sophisticated jammers try to block phone signals by jamming only one frequency. Oftentimes, jamming one frequency can hoax mobile devices into believing no signal exists. As a result, the device will not function.

Are Cell Phone Signal Jammers Legal?

It's illegal to sell, advertise, distribute, or operate cell signal jammers in the United States, as well as much of the world.

Because mobile signal jammer devices intentionally interfere with “authorized radio communications”, the FCC believes that any type of radio communication jamming equipment “pose serious risks to critical public safety communications, and can prevent you and others from making 9-1-1 and other emergency calls… (and) also interfere with law enforcement communications.”

In addition to public safety concerns, radio frequencies are legally protected by The Communications Act of 1934, which outlaws interference with authorized radio broadcasts.

Why are Cell Phone Signal Jammers Used?

Proponents of such technology argue that signal jammer devices are necessary in places where people struggle to follow standard cell phone etiquette rules. Think schools, theaters, vehicles, or an otherwise quiet train ride… pretty much any venue where talking, texting, streaming and the like might be deemed disruptive or even dangerous.

Keep in mind, a mobile signal jammer will not only block voice and text on your phone. It also interferes with GPS, WiFi, and probably most problematic of all — police radar. That’s why, as mentioned above, the Federal Government has banned the sale, promotion, and use of cell phone signal jammers in the US.

Does a Cell Phone Signal Jammer Block a Cell Phone Signal Booster?

Unfortunately, yes. A signal jammer will interfere with your signal booster.

Signal boosters work by amplifying an existing signal. However, if that signal is blocked by a jammer, the booster will not work.

Do Cell Signal Amplifiers Stop Signal Jammers?

While cell phone signal amplifiers are an excellent tool for strengthening reception in rural areas, on the road, or when building materials get in the way, they are not an effective defense against cell phone signal jammers. As it stands, any signal jammer is also a signal booster jammer.

How Do I Detect a Signal Jammer?

The most common symptom of cell phone signal jammer interference is, you guessed it, dropped service. While apps do exist that claim to detect signal jammers, they are largely unproven, and require a working signal to function. Without highly advanced, military-level technology at hand, it is virtually impossible for the average consumer to definitively detect a cell phone jammer.

However, if you suspect illegal activity of this sort, contact law enforcement or file a complaint with the FCC.

How Do I Stop a Cell Signal Jammer?

Unless you can physically locate the jammer itself — which usually looks like a walkie-talkie, a cell phone, or a wireless router — and disable it, blocking signal jammers is not your most viable option.

If you’re tech-savvy enough to switch the frequency on which your phone operates, you might have some luck working around the jammer. But it does depend on the sophistication of the jammer that’s blocking your signal.

Your best bet would be to relocate. Jamming range is usually no more than 30 square feet. Thus, moving away from your current position may just be enough to get some reception.

If you're a victim of someone jamming your phone signal, we recommend reaching out to law enforcement or filing a complaint with the FCC.

Sources

How May We Help You?

Wilson Amplifiers is the leading provider of cellular signal boosters. Cell phone boosters amplify 5G, 4G, and LTE for any phone with any carrier for home, office, or vehicle.

We seriously hate dropped calls and poor coverage, so it's our goal to eliminate spotty signal and poor coverage, one customer at a time.

  • Free consultation (ask us anything) with our US-based customer support (sales@wilsonamplifiers.com) or call us or at 1-800-568-2723.
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