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33rd International Congress on Electrocardiology

International Society of Electrocardiology

Third generation mobile phones (UMTS) do not interfere with permanent implanted pacemakers

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker K. Hekmat - University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • G. Bennink - University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • T. Wahlers - University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

33rd International Congress on Electrocardiology. Cologne, 28.06.-01.07.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2007. Doc06ice096

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: February 8, 2007

© 2007 Hekmat et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Third generation mobile phones (UMTS) were recently introduced in Europe. The safety of these devices with regard to their interference with implanted pacemakers is as yet unknown.

Methods: The study comprised 100 patients with permanent pacemaker implantation between November 2004 and June 2005. Two UMTS cellular phones (T-Mobile, Vodafone) were tested in the standby, dialing and operating mode with 22 single-chamber and 78 dual-chamber pacemakers. Continuous surface electrocardiograms, intracardiac electrograms, and marker channels were recorded when calls were made by a stationary phone to the cellular phones. All pacemakers were tested under a “worst-case scenario”, which includes a programming of the pacemaker to unipolar sensing and pacing modes and inducing of a maximum sensitivity setting during continuous pacing of the patient.

Results: Patients had pacemaker implantation between January 1997 and March 2005. The mean age was 70.6±13.2 years. Regardless of atrial and ventricular sensitivity settings all tested pacemakers did not show any interference with both UMTS mobile phones (Nokia 6650 and Motorola A835). In addition, there was also no interference of the marker channels and the intracardiac ECGs with both cellular phones.

Conclusion: Third generation mobile phones are safe for patients with permanent pacemakers. This is due to the high frequency band for this system (1800 – 2200 MHz) and the low power output between 0.01 W and 0.25 W.