Wi-Fi interference from smartphones

So here’s an odd thing…

I have a desktop pc hardwired to a Netgear router (WPN824 802.11g 2.4GHz) and I use an ibook G4 with wi-fi for work testing purposes (ie I browse the web sat in my living room with it!!).

The ibook has always had an excellent connection record - very few dropped connections, really reliable.

So, getting to the point, last week in a fit of madness I bought my husband an iPhone for his birthday and replaced my elderly mobile phone with a Blackberry 9700.

All cool… except that the wi-fi connection is now dropping off regularly. I can get it back on the ibook by turning airport off and back on - but it’s obviously not right.

Has anyone else run into a wi-fi interference problem - specifically from smartphones? If so, what’s the answer?


Smartphones shouldn’t interfere with that frequency range, I would try turning off the wifi radios in each and seeing what happens. How close are your neighbors?

very close - but they’ve had their connection for a while with no problem. The problem started the same day I set up the 2 smartphones which is why I suspect them.

I’ve changed the channel on the router just in case.

They theoretically can cause ‘RF interference’ depending upon frequencies used. Potential sources of interference include; cordless phones, microwave ovens, and Bluetooth-enabled devices. The presence of these types of devices can degrade the performance of an IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi) Wireless LAN.

You might want to consider using a different band, e.g. 5-GHz transmission band if you have a lot of issues. It’s well-known Bluetooth can cause interference due to the lax specification.

Try leaving one phone switched completely off for 24hrs then the other one and keep an eye on the drop outs of your wi-fi connection. That will identify if it’s just one phone (and if so which one) or both.

Do you need either the bluetooth or wi-fi on either phone? If not you could disabled the wi-fi and bluetooth on both phones.

Thanks everyone - I suppose it was naïve of me to assume that the new wi-fi devices would just hook onto the same network and sit happily alongside the existing ones!

I’ve changed the channel from the default one netgear sets and I’ll try a series of experiments to see if that or the bluetooth or switching off wifi in the various devices does the trick.