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Wi-Fi Connection Interference

December 2010

When the on-board microwave is in use, several operators have reported to Duncan Aviation avionics techs an intermittent interruption in Wi-Fi service while using laptops or personal electronic devices (PED), such as BlackBerrys or iPhones. At the same time, voice communication may also be affected if using Wi-Fi handsets.

Wi-Fi router channels operate using a frequency band that ranges from 2.412GHz (router channel one) to 2.462GHz (router channel 11). The frequency spectrum of the microwave oven (around 2.45 GHz) is often more powerful than that of the Wi-Fi signal and may cause interference within the limited space of an aircraft cabin.

You cannot avoid microwave interference, but there are several factors that will influence the severity of the interference.

  • The location of the microwave in relations to the Wi-Fi source (cabin size)
  • PED susceptibility/ sensitivity to interference
  • Type and/or design of the microwave

On-board microwave ovens have NO affect on the aircraft’s flight/navigation systems or web connectivity for devices plugged to the router via Ethernet cable.