Radio or mobile Interference
Complaints about interferences in telecommunications can be directed to the Post and Telecom Administration. The Administration will try to locate the origin of interference as soon as possible and take the necessary action to rectify the problem.
Equipment connected to obsolete microwave TV antennas is causing interference for GSM telephones
Measurements made by the Post- and Telecom Administration (PTA /PFS) indicate that there is considerable interference for GSM mobiles in various areas in the Reykjavik area, for example in, Vesturbær, Fossvogur og certain areas in Kópavogur and Hafnarfjörður. Interference is also possible in Akranes, Selfoss and Reykjanesbær.
The interference is due to malfunctioning obsolete microwave antenna receivers, so-called frequency converters, that were used to receive Fjölvarpið some years ago. It ceased broadcasting in 2017, but thousands of antennas are still installed and active. The only way to eliminate the interference is to unplug the power supply or disconnect the antenna on the roof.
Instructions for homeowners or tenants
We ask that homeowners or tenants of buildings, where the antennas are still mounted, check whether the equipment is still connected to power. If so to please disconnect it. It varies from home to home where the equipment is located.
In apartment buildings, the equipment can be located for example in a loft or an attic, in common spaces, such as laundry rooms or bicycle storage rooms, or in and around power stacks. Although most often the equipment or power supply is located near TV inlets, behind TV sets or in TV cabinets and sometimes in adjacent garages.Picture 1 - Examples of microwave antennas Picture 2 - examples of power supplies
Start by checking if an antenna is visible on the building. If you see one:
- Locate the power supply and disconnect if needed.
- If the power supply can´t be located, the connection to the antenna must be severed. IMPORTANT! This must be done by a verified contractor.
We ask that homeowners seek assistance or the service of a verified contractor in removing the antennas. This is especially important in apartment buildings where the setup of the equipment can be particularly complex.
You can find further information here on the PFS website in Icelandic:
If you need assistance with this particular interference or wish to let us know that you have successfully disconnected the antenna on your building, send us a message on Facebook.
Contacts at PFS are: Sigurður Ísleifsson Tel. 5101529 and Bjarni Sigurðsson Tel. 5101517
A. What kind of interference is this?
The 2500 – 2690 MHz spectrum used to be in use for Television but is now used for mobile connection. The microwave antennas are malfunctioning and affecting the mobile connections in the affected areas.
- Loss of quality when speaking on your mobile phone
- Calls don´t go through or they get cut off
- Data transmission and mobile internet connections are slow or lagging
B. What is a microwave antenna and why was this installed?
These antennas were bought and installed by homeowners who wished to subscribe to the TV service Fjölvarpið, that broadcast from 1993-2017.
They are now obsolete and have started malfunctioning and causing interference in nearby locations
C. what is the equipment that needs to removed?
The power supply needs to unplugged from the wall socket. This will cut power to the malfunctioning equipment.
See pictures of the equipment above
D. How do I know if there is a microwave antenna on my house?
The antennas are visible on the roof of a building. See pictures of commonly used antennas above.
E. What should I do first?
If there is an antenna on your building the most important thing is to locate the power supply inside the house and disconnect it.
F. Where can I find the power supply?
The power supply can be located in various places depending on the type of building. In private homes they are most often located near or by the television set, often behind it or enclosed in an entertainment center for example. But can also sometimes be situated in the garage or near power stacks.
In apartment buildings, the equipment can be located for example in a loft or an attic, in common spaces, such as laundry rooms or bicycle storage rooms, or in and around power stacks.
G. What if I can not locate the power supply?
If the power supply can´t be located, the connection to the antenna must be severed. IMPORTANT! This must be done by a verified contractor.
H. What happens if I don´t do anything?
The antenna is very likely to malfunction if it is not already. If no steps are taken the following scenario is likely to occur:
- Interference in mobile connection, both voice and data.
- Unnecessary electricity expenditure, higher electricity bills.
- Fire hazard. All malfunctioning electrical equipment can cause fire hazard.
I. I am a tenant - Where can I seek assistance
The first step is to check if your building has an antenna mounted, if so, find the power supply and disconnect it if it has not been disconnected already.
If you are unable to locate the power supply, please contact the homeowner for guidance.
J. How widespread is this interference?
We estimate that thousands of these antennas are still to be found in the Reykjavík region, and unfortunately many are still connected to electricity. The most affected areas are:
- Reykjavik i.e. Vesturbær and Fossvogur
- Certain areas in Kopavogur and Hafnarfjörður
K. If i can not unplug the power source, will it cost me something to have the connection severed?
If the service of a contractor is needed to severe the connection to the antenna, the cost shall be paid by the homeowner.
L. Is it the PTA´s responsibility to remove the equipment?
The microwave antennas and the connected equipment was installed and paid for by the homeowners. Therefore it it they´r responsibility to have it removed.