FCC's New Rules for Cellular Amplifiers

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Thursday, 28 February 2013

FCC's New Rules for Cellular Amplifiers

Earlier this month, the FCC announced that celluar signal boosters (aka "amplifiers" or "repeaters") are legal and all of the major carriers in the USA have consented to their use. However, along with the ruling came new guidelines from the FCC that amplifier manufacturers must follow for all of their products. The new rules require manufacturers to improve the design of their products to eliminate potential interference with the wireless networks. An improprly-installed or poorly-made amplifier can interfere with wireless networks and cause interference to a range of calls, including emergency and 911 calls.

The FCC will give manufactures a one year transition period, until March 2014 to move to the new technical standards and allow sales of existing amplifiers while the transition occurs. If you already own an amplifier or if you purchase one before the manufacturers make the recommended changes, you do not need to worry - you may continue to use it. However, if the FCC or your service provider determines that your amplifier is interfering with the wireless network in any way and asks you to stop using it, you must comply (or adjust your installation so that it is no longer causing interference). 

When the new guidelines go into effect and the new amplifiers are available, they will have a new warning label on them and you will be required to register your booster with your provider (this does not cost anything and the providers have already consented to their use - they just want to know who is using signal boosters and which boosters are in use).

New amplifiers from manufacturers like Wilson Electronics and Cellphone-Mate that follow the new guidelines and have the above-metioned labels on them will be available towards the end of 2013.

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