U.S. electronics may not mesh in Germany

Some wireless devices brought from the United States or ordered on-line from U.S. companies may not be authorized in Germany.  

Each country owns its radio spectrum and can allocate this as it sees fit. Each country also has the right to say whether a particular electronic device is authorized to operate within its borders.

In the United States, many brands of baby monitors, remote control toys and some older cordless telephones use a frequency band that is reserved for German emergency services. In the United States, the family radio service walkie-talkies are in a frequency band that is used by German railroads. Many U.S. cordless headphones, telephones and older wireless home local area networks use frequencies within the German cell phone bands. Some of the newer home-use LANs are restricted to a portion of the band they are able to transmit in and may also cause interference to military operations. The Bundesnetzagentur Federal Agency, Germany’s version of the Federal Communications Commission, is more stringent than the FCC in the use of frequencies.

In a past incident, the Bundesnetzagentur responded to a base housing unit where a baby monitor found to be interfering with German emergency frequencies was confiscated. Using a device that is not authorized and causes harmful interference in Germany can result in confiscation of the equipment and a fine of up to ¤500,000.

To find out if a wireless device is authorized in Germany, check the back or under the battery cover of the device. There should be an FCC label, a C.E. marking or both. The C.E. marking states the equipment is European compliant and can be used in Germany. If both markings are present, it can be used here and in the Unites States. If it just has the FCC markings on it, then use in Germany is prohibited.

Call the KMC spectrum manager’s office 480-4009 for details.
(Courtesy of the 435th Communications Squadron)