Why it may not be such a good idea to take up the offer of a wireless “landline” phone system

Why it may not be such a good idea to take up the offer of a wireless “landline” phone system


If you currently have a home phone connected to the copper system, you may shortly receive (or may already have received) a letter from your phone service provider. 

The letter will likely say something to the effect that it’s time to move to new technology (or words to that effect).

Your phone company may make what they are offering you sound like the latest and greatest thing going.

In reality, the company is likely to be trying to seduce you away from a safe, tried and true technology (a corded phone that is connected to the copper phone system) to a new wireless phone system.

NB: Both types of wireless phones on the NZ market (cordless home phones and cellular/mobile phones) have been linked to increased risk of developing a particularly nasty type of brain cancer called glioma. [1]  There is no such known cancer risk from using the traditional home phone that has a cord. 

In the case of Spark and Vodafone, the new wireless phone systems that they offer connect to a cellular (mobile) phone network and will introduce potentially carcinogenic (cancer-causing) pulsed microwave radiation into your home. [2]

(By the way, Spark and Vodafone (and 2Degrees) are also the telecommunications retailing companies that want to build new wireless 5G networks in NZ.)

Spark calls their 4G cellular phone infrastructure based wireless home phone system a “wireless landline”. [3]

Vodafone calls their cellular phone infrastructure based wireless home phone system a “home phone wireless”. [4]

2Degrees also has a wireless phone system. From the very small amount of information on this company’s website it is unclear whether or not this works via the company’s mobile network as the phone is designed to communicate with a modem.  However, you can see from the video on the site that the phones supplied with this system are cordless so they will also be producing potentially carcinogenic microwave radiation.  [5]

What are your rights if you are offered a “wireless landline” or “home phone?

You do NOT have to accept a wireless phone system if you do not want one. 

(Spark has already been publicly criticised by Chorus for what has been described as using “inertia selling” of wireless phone systems to its copper landline phone customers. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/113418141/chorus-deeply-uncomfortable-with-spark-homephone-sales-move )

NB:  By refusing to move to a wireless phone system that has cordless phones (which produce microwave radiation) and/or an additional device that also produces microwave radiation (in order to   communicate with the mobile/cellular system) you can help to protect your own health (and that of family and friends who live with you or visit your home) from the potentially carcinogenic microwave radiation that is produced by these phone systems. 

Also, by refusing to move to a wireless phone system you are helping to protect our environment and the health of other people in your area. Living close to cell phone towers has documented health risks for local residents. [6] 

One of the reasons for the current proliferation of cellular phone towers in NZ is that telecommunications companies are aggressively marketing wireless home phone systems. [7]  When people consequently choose to move from the safe copper system to a “wireless” home phone that connects to the cellular phone network, more cellular phone towers have to be built (because each tower can handle only a certain number of  connections at a time).

What are your options to have a safe, corded phone system if you live in a NZ town or city where access to the copper landline system is planned to be phased out?

Option 1) 

You could simply stay with the copper phone system in your area if you are happy with it because access to the copper system is not likely to be phased out anywhere in NZ until some time in 2020 at the earliest.  (NB: The copper service is going to be phased out ONLY from areas of NZ where there is fibre.  The Minister for Telecommunications has said that the copper system will remain in other parts of NZ [8].)

Option 2)

You could get your home connected to the fibre system and connect a phone to this system.  Information about how to have a safe corded phone connection with the fibre system may be found at this link:  https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/can-corded-phone-fibre/


[1] https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/06/cell-phone-use-brain-cancer-risk.aspx

[2]  Microwave radiation was classified as “possible carcinogen” (Class 2B) in 2011 https://microwavenews.com/short-takes-archive/iarc-publishes-rf-cancer-review  Subsequent research suggests that this form of radiation should be reclassified as a proven carcinogen (cancer causing agent). https://www.emfacts.com/2017/08/cancer-expert-declares-cell-phone-and-wireless-radiation-as-carcinogenic-to-humans/

[3] https://www.spark.co.nz/help/other/terms/personal-terms/home-wireless-landline/

[4] http://help.vodafone.co.nz/app/answers/detail/a_id/22374

[5] https://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/help-and-support/broadband-and-landline/landline/business-calling-services/#2degrees-smart-phone-line

[6] https://www.5g.org.nz/2019/07/05/biological-effects-of-living-near-a-cell-phone-tower/ and https://www.avaate.org/IMG/pdf/ESTUDIO_BRASIL_BrazilCellTowerStudy.pdf

[7]  Another reason for the proliferation of cellular phone towers in NZ is the telecommunications companies that want to introduce 5G into NZ (Spark, Vodafone and 2Degrees) into NZ plan to use the 4G  system as a “control layer” for 5G. See: https://www.5g.org.nz/2018/10/11/facts-about-5g-in-nz/

[8] https://saveourlandlines.nz/news/letter-from-the-hon-kris-faafoi-states-that-rural-landlines-are-safe/

A real lemon is beautiful and useful…If you value your health, a wireless phone system is the sort of “lemon” that you would want to avoid…
Thank you to Elena Chochkova for making this image available under a GNU Free Documenttation License.

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