Israel has banned all iPad imports — yes, that means even bringing one on business or vacation — over concerns that higher-powered wireless receivers and transmitters in the device may disrupt national networks.
The iPad will be device non grata in Israel until authorities certify that the computers comply with local standards. About 10 unlucky iPad owners have had the devices confiscated so far. Visitors see their devices held in custody — racking up fines — until they depart the country.
“If you operate equipment in a frequency band which is different from the others that operate on that frequency band, then there will be interference,” Nati Schubert, a senior deputy director for the Communications Ministry told AP. “We don’t care where people buy their equipment … but without regulation, you would have chaos.”
The problem is in the juice: the U.S. Federal Communications Commission allows Wi-Fi broadcasting at higher power levels than permitted in Europe and Israel. Concerns are that the stronger signal could consume too much bandwidth, or throw off other wireless connections.
Israel is the only country so far to officially ban imports although the report stated that many European countries have the same standards and could run into similar problems.