There are few places now that mobile signals are unwelcome. The ban on the use of cellular terminals on aeroplanes and in hospitals is well documented. But thanks to continued pressure from consumers and operators it looked likely that the ban would be lifted imminently in both cases.

However, according to fresh research carried out in the Netherlands, signals from mobile devices do interfere with nearby electrical equipment. This will come as little surprise to anyone that has been listening to a personal stereo and heard Morse code static as their pocketed mobile pings the network to remind it of its whereabouts.

The Dutch researchers, though, reckon the effect phones could have on hospital equipment amount to more than a little static. In fact, more than 50 per cent of the ventilators tested stopped working properly when in proximity to a mobile. In all, 61 pieces of medical kit were checked. Worryingly most were affected in some way.

It was only back in March of this year that UK health minister Andy Burnham was quoted saying there was “no reason” for an outright ban on mobiles in hospitals.

While last year, Ofcom suggested some hospitals had kept the outright ban because of pressure from the companies operating their bedside phone services.

Not surprisingly the researchers are recommending that phones are not used in close proximity to sensitive electrical equipment. The only piece of good news for the operators coming out of the research was that 3G handsets were less likely to cause problems.

It is unlikely that this will be the last piece of research carried out that damns the use of cellphones, but it is equally unlikely that it will go unchallenged by contrary findings.