Electromagnetic Interference and Compatibility

Helps Members monitor the implications of electromagnetic interference and compatibility

The Project Group on Electromagnetic Interference and Compatibility (EIC) is part of the EBU's Strategic Programme on Spectrum. 

This group helps Members to monitor the implications of electromagnetic interference and compatibility.  We do so by providing expertise, sharing best practice and engaging with industry to discuss important matters like broadcaster receiver performance.  We also represent your interests at international bodies such as the ITU, standards development organizations (SDOs) and the European Union.


Along with other users of the radio spectrum, broadcasting has always had to accommodate the effects of interference from natural and man made sources. The primary task of the EIC group is to identify, control or at least mitigate these effects.

New technologies with the capability of interfering with the broadcasting are emerging all the time and it is important that the broadcasting community maintains an awareness of these developments and contributes to the debate over their deployment. Examples of emerging and developing technologies are Power Line Communications – where electrical supply cabling is used to carry broadband data - and Wireless Power Transfer – where the batteries in devices from mobile telephones to buses are being charged without any physical connection to a power source.

Another area where broadcasting operations can be affected is the increasing awareness in the community at large of the health effects of electromagnetic radiation. While not competent to influence the debate over the physiological effects, it is important that the broadcasting community has at its disposal the necessary measurement techniques to demonstrate that its operations comply with prevailing standards.

Main areas of interest

  • Interference to broadcast reception from non radio communications systems such as:
    • Wired communications systems like Power Line Communications
    • Wireless Power Transmission
    • Energy saving Lighting systems (LEDs)
    • Grid Connected Power Converters
  • Activities in standardization bodies such as ETSI and CENELEC
  • Electromagnetic effects on human safety.

Following concerted action by the EBU and its Members, CENELEC in August 2019 published an update to the European Harmonised Standard EN55015, which  puts in place EMC emission requirements for LED lighting.

Several manufacturers have moved to comply with the standard and begun to produce LED lights that meet the new requirements. This will significantly reduce the number and severity of interference cases from LED lights into broadcast services. This excellent outcome is the result of a significant amount of work by the EBU and its Members

The issue in detail

For an excellent explanation of the issue and how it can affect media broadcast services, download and view the presentation on LED interference by Norwegian public service broadcaster NRK (180Mb, includes video).