KOCHI: Raising major security concerns, unauthorised wireless set users from the state are tapping into the same air frequency used by HAM radio operators for communication.Intelligence agencies have launched a probe after inputs revealed that there have been a couple of instances of unauthorised wireless communication taking place in the state.
Agencies, which have been keeping a tab on very high frequency (VHF) communication channels, are closely monitoring the situation based on information that licenced HAM users have been hearing interceptions in their channels.
“We suspect that a few groups are using smuggled cordless handsets to communicate in unapproved bandwidths. Even repeaters to strengthen the signals are being set up illegally by these groups to extend their reach,” said an intelligence officer.
There are more than 100 licenced HAM users in Kerala and the functioning of unauthorised wireless sets have become a cause of worry for them.
“People using illegal handsets should be booked,” said a HAM user from Thrissur. “We hear communication of these illegal operators though they cannot hear us. We operate in the range between 144-146 MHz on VHF,” he said.
Ministry of Communication wireless monitoring station officer Anees Abraham said they have the system to track illegal use of unauthorised wireless sets.
“Activities of all licenced HAM users are being strictly monitored. Even the sanction to set up repeaters are given only after proper verification,” the officer said.
To become a HAM radio operator, one needs to pass ham radio licensing examination known as Amateur Station Operator’s Certificate Examination. It is conducted by the Wireless Planning and Coordination wing of the Ministry of Communications.