15/04/2010 | Aviv Eilon, Adv | Israel
No real basis for iPad import ban in Israel

The writer of the article, Aviv Eilon, Adv, (an Israeli Lawyer specialized in Technology Law) examines the absence of logic in the Israeli Communication office's decision of banning iPad's import to Israel, explaining that the device is transmitting in high power and does not stand the European standard. All this in light of the context of the announcement and the fact that iPad complies with the European's standardization and other products of Apple with the same qualities have been approved long ago for usage in Israel.

I heard and I could not believe, I read in the physical and online press and I still could not believe. When an official published statement of the communication's office clarified that banning entry of the new Apple tablet computers (iPad) to Israel, due to their failure to comply the standardization - now, I really do not believe.

On the 13.4.2010, the communication office has published an announcement, as follows:

" The iPad device, which is being sold today in the United States only, operates in transmission power (Wi-Fi modem) which suites the American standardization. Since the Israeli standardization in Wi-Fi domain is identical to the European standardization, which is different from the American standardization, permitting transmission in low power, that is why the transmission power of the device prevents the approval of his activation in Israel ."

It is only reasonable to think that a moment before the communication office published the announcement, at least, someone from the department checked the fortitude of the Wi-Fi modem's power, which is installed in the iPad. However, from reading the department's announcement it turns out things are different. Go a few lines below the statement that " the transmission power of the device prevents the approval of his activation in Israel " and learn that "the communication office has turned to I-Digital, a Company representing Apple in Israel, in request for all information regarding the device, in order to approve its entry to Israel."

As it clearly rises from the announcement, not only the department did not actually check the fortitude of the transmission, the communication office does not have the slightest idea of the device's features. Even before discussing the basic problem, it is clear that the decision of the department is not based on empirical findings, but on gut instincts of some individual of the office. The question is how the communication office has come to the conclusion that the iPad works in high power transmission which does not stand the European standardization, let alone any standardization?! It seems that only the Communication Minister, Mr, Moshe Kahlon, knows the answer.

If this is not enough, the communication office continues, some would say in considerable disrespect of the basic intelligence of the Israeli public, and tries to justify the clearly un based decision by means of comparison to the prohibition of importing right steering wheel cars. With all due respect, this is demagogy per se.

There is no dispute of having a clear interest, for the Israeli public in general and the Israeli consumer in particular, of importing electronic devices which stand the customary standards all over the world. This is why in every civilized state exists a proper standardization system, let alone when it is about an electronic device which can cause disruptions in communication systems in Israel.

Nonetheless, the communication office's failure of quick examining the device's specification and also its failure of conducting a quite simple testing- is it really a high power which does not stand the Israeli standardization- and the attempt to justify so through a demonstration from the vehicle domain, are not appropriate and that is to say the least. This oversight intensifies especially when it is about a device which stands the strict standardizations of several continents in the world, including the European standardization, the one who the finance ministry claims is the suitable for Israel.

Essentially, by examining the official specification of the tablet, in page 3, one can clearly see that the device stands the European standardization " iPad Wi-Fi + 3G has been tested, and meets the FCC, IC, and European Union RF exposure guidelines for cellular operation". In page 4, it shows that the device was granted the standards association stamp CE 0682, which is a European standard. This standard association stamp is also impressed on the back of the iPad.

Likewise, by viewing the official specification of the cellular phone of Apple, the iPhone, one can see that the device stands the European standardization. See page 6, follows "
iPhone is designed and manufactured to comply with the limits for exposure to RF energy set by the Federal Communications Commission FCC) of the United States, Industry Canada (IC) of Canada, and regulating entities of Japan, the European Union, and other countries ". Also see Apple's statement of European standardization on page 10.

Similar to the standard given the iPad, the iPhone device also got the CE 0682 standards association stamp. For those who hold the iPhone device, if you turn over to the back you could see that this European standards association stamp is impressed on the back of the phone.

For those who ask why compare the iPad to the iPhone? The answer is quite simple. It has been a while since the communication ministry has approved iPhone devices to Israel. It can be shown by a quick overview of an official document of the communication office, in which there is a description of all the approved cellular phones and modems for personal import. Among others, in this list there are about four versions of Apple's cellular phone iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.

The farce does not end here. The communication ministry has approved import of other Apple products, which make use of Wi-Fi transmission technology, identical to the one installed in the iPad. In the technical specification of Apple products, which is accessible all over the Internet, it is clear to see that in MacBook Pro computers, which are sold in Israel for quite some time, a Wi-Fi modem which operates in transmission standard 802.11n is installed, identical, as stated, to the one installed in iPad. You can buy this computer in Israel and even personally import it without any trouble. Furthermore, Wi-Fi routers which transmit in transmission standard 802.11n are sold in Israel for quite some time, also by Bezeq (Israel's major  Phone Company).

Coming back again to the communication ministry's announcement "since the standardization in Israel in the Wi-Fi domain is similar to the European standardization." Considering the fact that iPad stands the European standardization, just as the iPhone and the MacBookPro, it is not clear from where a certain individual from the communication ministry has pulled the regarding information which supports the statement that "
the transmission power of the device prevents an approval for its activation in Israel ."

All of the information the communication office needs is a click away, even if before the publication of the announcement the right equipment for testing the transmission fortitude was not accessible. If a certain someone from the communication ministry would have invested a few minutes and viewed the relevant information, soon would have learned that the iPad stands the European standard, for it has an identical standards association stamp to the one's of the iPad's and that the spoken transmission standard has been approved for usage in Israel.

In the margins of things there is a need to note that at its announcement, the communication ministry goes on and says that the warranty of "commercial import" of the iPad is placed on the shoulders of Apple. It is time to remind the office that this is not a matter of commercial import, and those whose iPads were confiscated by customs, brought the device personally and not commercially.

To add up, the information regarding whether the iPad stands the right standardization, is on the Internet and accessible to all desired, including employees of the communication ministry, and that is in light of the fact that iPad stands the European standardization and in light of the fact that similar devices, both on the Wi-Fi modem standard level and both on the cellular modem standard level, were already approved for usage in Israel. It will be worthwhile if the communication minister would do an overall inside checkup and would examine carefully what were the relevant considerations of this poor decision of a certain individual of his office to ban a personal import of the iPad, as well the way this decision was made and the s
ooner the better.      



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