The latest Good E-Reader news has the Israel’s Ministry of Communications banning import of iPads on the grounds that they are not compatible with the country’s Wi-Fi standards. They have begun to intercept imported shipments into the country leaving many people without an iPad whom paid for it. Travellers can pick the gadgets up again when they leave Israel but must pay s storage fee.
Israel uses the same standards as Europe, but these are slightly different from those prevailing in the US. European standards allow the use of additional channels in the 2.4GHz but restrict the equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) to 20 dBm (100 mW).
However, according to the Wall Street Journal, not only does the iPad have the same Wi-Fi chip as the current iPhone 3GS, an Apple spokesperson also told the WSJ that the “iPad complies with international industry standards for Wi-Fi specifications.”
The WSJ also quoted analyst Richard Doherty stating that if Israel is “paranoid about the iPad then they should be paranoid about BlackBerrys and the iPhone”, and that the decision “seems to have no technical reason.”
“This is about security and the fact that someone could use the iPad to tap into Government networks” said a British expert.
When the question was initially raised on the ban on Apple iPads, Israeli Communications spokesperson Yechiel Shavi: “This device’s wireless strengths violate Israeli law and will overpower other wireless devices in Israel.”
Shavi added that if Apple releases a new version that complies with EU Wi-Fi standards, the ban will be overturned. Apple, in rebuttal says: “The iPad complies with international industry standards for Wi-Fi specifications.”
Many of Israel’s blogging community said the real reason the ban is in place is because the military is saying the iPad will interfere with Military equipment.