Boosting Standards


Do cellular boosters interfere with wireless networks, ultimately impacting services such as 911 calls? The debate surrounding cellphone boosters has been raging for years. Today, a new update to an FCC (Federal Communications Commission) petition calls for tighter regulations on cellphone signal boosters.

The challenge with some boosters is they can cause interference with wireless networks. In 2007, this was first brought to light with a petition filed by CTIA—The Wireless Assn.,, which claimed boosters interfere with wireless networks.

Today, in a different petition, T-Mobile,, has joined Wilson Electronics,, and Verizon Wireless,, in an effort to have the FCC adopt technical standards for signal boosters. Currently there is no standard.

Wilson Electronics, a provider of cellular signal boosters, has been working to have the FCC adopt regulations for signal boosters for a number of years. The company provides boosters that are designed with features that won’t do damage to the carrier networks.

The group of companies has jointly filed two standards, which propose consumer cellular signal booster protection regulations—meaning boosters do not cause interference to networks. Both of the proposed standards announced today are revisions to previous standards.

The first is a revised version of technical specifications for consumer boosters designed to operate on multiple frequency bands in mobile and fixed environments. This is a revision to a standard Wilson and Verizon Wireless jointly proposed earlier this year.

The second is a revision of protection standards to “frequency-selective” consumer boosters designed to operate in fixed, indoor locations, and only on the frequency band of a cellular carrier that has approved use. This standard was previously proposed by T-Mobile and Nextivity,

As the debate continues, more manufacturers and carriers are voicing opinions for standards and regulations for cellphone signal boosters.

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June/July 2014
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