Consumer Signal Boosters: Frequently Asked Questions.
A consumer signal booster is an external device that amplifies cellular signals. With a consumer signal booster, wireless coverage can be improved within a limited area, such as a car, RV, boat, or home & commercial office building. A consumer signal booster is designed to be installed and used "out-of-the-box", meaning that no certification or specific technical expertise is required. However, as per FCC 13-21 (Paragraphs 13, 21, 46) accessories as approved per the original manufacturer of the signal booster must be used.
How Can I Know If a Signal Booster Complies with New Standards?
You will know because all FCC approved signal boosters have appropriate labelling. To see an example, see image provided below titled, "This is a CONSUMER device."
How Do Consumers Know Which Service Providers Have Approved the New Standards?
Leading wireless service providers, such as T-Mobile, AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and rural cellular carriers who are members of the CCA (Competitive Carriers Association) and the RWA (Rural Wireless Association), have all committed to providing overall approval for signal boosters that comply with new protection standards (FCC 13-21, see Paragraph 25).
What Should I Do If I Have an Existing Consumer Signal Booster That Doesn’t Conform to New Standards?
Strictly speaking, operators of all new or existing, mobile or fixed consumer signal boosters must obtain consent from, and register with, their current wireless service provider. However, unless and until wireless service providers implement a registration process, operators of existing signal boosters can obtain consent from their current wireless service provider by either email or phone. Then, once notified that a registration process is in place, operators must register their signal boosters with their current wireless services provider within 90 days (FCC 13-21, see Paragraphs 127, 129).
Please note that, unless directed by your current wireless service provider, there's no requirement to replace existing signal boosters. However, should a signal booster be creating interference at a cell site, the FCC or serving wireless service provider may direct the operator to turn off their signal booster.
What Am I Required to Do If My New Consumer Signal Booster Complies with New Standards and Has Appropriate Labels?
If you have a consumer signal booster that is appropriately labelled and in compliance with new performance specifications, you should register with your serving wireless service provider.
Under New Regulations, Am I Required to Replace My Current Consumer Signal Booster with an Approved Booster?
No, you're not. There's no requirement for you to replace an existing signal booster with one that has been approved under new regulations. However, it is been determined by the FCC that public interest will best be served by allowing consumers to operate signal boosters provided they have approval from their current wireless service provider and that the booster is registered with that provider (FCC 13-21, see Paragraphs 127, 129).
What Is the Process for Registering a Consumer Signal Booster?
In accordance with FCC 13-21 (see paragraphs 104-106), a free registration process should be established by wireless service providers by March 1, 2014. Registration requirements will be issued by wireless service providers a minimum of 90 days before they require consumers to register. At that time, the operator will need to provide a minimum of the following information as follows:
Name of the owner and/or operator of the consumer signal booster.
Make and model of the device, including serial number.
Date of initial operation.
Location of the device. If in a vehicle, address where it will be parked overnight.
Note that warning labels may look different to the sample below. However, according to FCC 13-21 (Paragraphs 115, 123), warning labels must include the same information.
Information contained within these Frequently Asked Questions does not purport to be legal advice. it is simply for informational purposes only. Because FCC regulations have not yet been implemented, and thus may be subject to change, this information is not a substitute for the actual regulations. Every effort has been made to ensure the correctness, accuracy, and suitability of these Frequently Asked Questions. However, we specifically deny any responsibility for any omissions or errors, or loss or damage of any kind, which may occur as a result of above information.
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