The Threats to Radiocommunication

For over 100 years, radio communication has been a central core of man’s global communication technology. It continues to play a key part in 21st century life, with applications in areas such as radar, cellular phones, wifi, bluetooth, defence,  security services, TV and radio broadcasting and the “Internet of Things”

But today there are threats to the ongoing usefulness of the radio spectrum. Many non-radio devices are coming on stream which emit high levels of wideband “radio noise” which can mask essential communications. It is rather like a thick fog which prevents us seeing things at any distance. So it is that the radio spectrum is being polluted in a way which, if unchecked, will radically reduce its usefulness.

The latest of these technologies to be suggested is “Wireless Power Transmission” – the technology that will allow cars to be charged without the need for connecting leads. At present it seems that there is a real prospect that these devices – destined to be installed in home garages – will obscure radio communications in the home environment.

In my role in IARU I am heavily involved in discussions on this technology and you can see two short briefing documents here and here which explain in a little more detail the threat.