FCC considers cell booster ban

Comments are due today on an FCC inquiry into whether cellular signal boosters should be banned because they may interfere with cell networks. Signal boosters, which are made by firms such as Wilson Electronics, can extend the range of a cell phone in areas where signal strength is weak.

Wireless carrier trade group CTIA has asked the FCC to more closely regulate signal boosters. In a filing today, the CTIA said the use of signal boosters comes at the expense of surrounding users, who may suffer from poor wireless connections. The CTIA urged the FCC to rule that an FCC license, or express consent from a licensee, be required to operate a signal booster. The group also urged the agency to make illegal the sale and marketing of such devices to unauthorized parties.

Meanwhile, infrastructure trade organization PCIA asked the FCC to explore ways to resolve interference issues without impeding the sale of boosters.

Manufacturers such as Wilson argue that well-designed boosters benefit consumers and wireless carriers, and that the FCC should require all boosters have certain features such as effective self-oscillation detection and automatic shutdown; effective tower proximity detection and shutdown; and bi-directional signal amplification.

For more:
- see this Twice article
- see this Phone Scoop article
- see this CTIA filing

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Seybold: Wireless jamming devices are illegal and dangerous