With a July-released Oakland city-commissioned report revealing that the year-old $18 million public safety radio system of the city failed to meet the "performance level of a typical urban or metropolitan Public Safety radio system," Oakland officials have stated that AT&T cell towers interfere with the police radios.
According to the officials of the city of Oakland, an investigation into the situation - with the Federal Communications Commission and AT&T also joining the probe - has revealed that the issue is related to GSM 850MHz service at the AT&T base stations; with the mentioned cell site "causing significant interference to the City of Oakland's P25 System."
The interference of AT&T cell towers with Oakland's emergency communications system stems from the fact that while the police radio system is based on the P25 digital technology and operates on frequencies between 851MHz and 854MHz; AT&T's problematic GSM 850MHz service operates in two bands --- between 824MHz and 849MHz and between 869MHz and 894MHz.
Even though the two in-question technologies are being used across the US, and their `close' frequencies are sufficiently separated in order to avoid any interference, there apparently is something wrong in Oakland because of which AT&T cell towers disrupt police radios.
Noting that it is looking into the problem "in the interest of public safety and as a cautionary measure," AT&T said in a statement: "We have temporarily taken some 2G frequencies out of service at some cell sites in Oakland."