Same Same... But Different!

Jamming Cell Phones in New Zealand Prisons

, posted: 22-Aug-2007 13:06

This will be interesting to see how they confine the jamming technology only to the Prison grounds, so they don’t affect business customers outside Prisons such as Mt Eden's, Grey Bar Hotel.

The Minister of Corrections, Vodafone and Telecom today jointly announced the successful conclusion of a trial of technical solutions to combat the unauthorised use of cellphones in prisons, and the signing of an agreement for action in this area.

“We recognise the high level of concern about contraband items being used in prisons. This includes the unauthorised use of cellphones. We have therefore worked jointly with Corrections over the past 12 months to assess a range of technical solutions. While there is no perfect solution and while each prison site has its own unique characteristics we have now identified a package of technical solutions which the Department of Corrections believes could be deployed with effectiveness in some of its facilities, ” said Telecom Group Technology Officer Greg Patchell and Vodafone Corporate Affairs General Manager Tom Chignell.

Vodafone, Telecom and Corrections today signed a Memorandum of Understanding, setting out the terms of an agreement to implement the most effective technical solutions to combat the use of cellphones in prisons.

“With the technical trials completed, and the MoU Agreement in place, work can now begin to apply the most effective technologies to combat unauthorised cellphone use in each prison site in New Zealand "

Vodafone and Telecom also announced that they will jointly propose a new industry Code of Practice, for adoption by future cellphone phone network operators in addressing the challenge of unauthorised cellphone use in prisons. This proposal would involve consultation with all interested parties via a project proposal to be presented to the Telecommunications Carriers Forum (TCF).

The MoU approach provides both the Government and the industry with some flexibility to help future-proof arrangements given the rapid development of new technologies in this area.


For further information:

Mark Watts
Head of External Media
Mobile: 027 250 4018

Paul Brislen
Vodafone NZ
Mobile: 021 721 337


More information

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Comment by TinyTim, on 22-Aug-2007 13:46

"This will be interesting to see how they confine the jamming technology only to the Prison grounds, so they don’t affect business customers outside Prisons such as Mt Eden's, Grey Bar Hotel."

From what I read a week or so ago somewhere, this is the reason why the operators haven't been keen on the technology in the past, but now they have the means to overcome it.

Author's note by nzbnw, on 22-Aug-2007 13:52

That was my understanding also, but as you say they must have away around it now...


Comment by barf, on 22-Aug-2007 15:15

if they can smuggle phones in, it won't take long for antennas to be smuggled in too. oh wait, they have metalwork shops in prisons! just build a Yagi out of 6 metal rods insteAD!

Comment by lapimate, on 22-Aug-2007 15:54

How come the only parties mentioned are Corrections and the mobile operators? What gives them the right to purport to come to a private agreement about this matter?

Where's the Radio Spectrum Management section of MoE in all this to assure that all issues including technical issues about use of the radio spectrum and interference are managed properly on the public's behalf?

Comment by sbiddle, on 22-Aug-2007 16:02

How about a 30cm lead wall around every prison? That'd stop and any RF signals entering or existing!

Comment by paradoxsm, on 22-Aug-2007 19:04

I made a short-range cellphone jammer the other day, It blocks everything in a room, but not much further. I also made another for jamming TV (AM) signals, this one was too effective!

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