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New FCC Regulations and Their Impact on Cell Signal Booster Usage

by Teddi Strassburger on August 8, 2018

AdobeStock_113982913With how ubiquitous mobile devices have become, it's more important than ever for all customers to be able to access quality cellular data conveniently. For customers who are experiencing consistent issues with cellular data or even total loss of service, cell signal boosters fill the gap. In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which, among other duties, regulates the use of cell signal boosters to ensure wireless networks can operate unimpeded, lifted some restrictions on cell signal boosters, eliminating constraints on approvals and usage. 

Why Do You Need Cell Signal Boosters? 

Even when a customer is close to a cell tower, they may still face issues connecting to the cellular network. Some building materials, like metal and concrete, can impede cellular signal and lead to problems like dropped calls and poor data upload and download speeds. 

When customers face these issues, they look to cell signal boosters to resolve them. Cell signal boosters work by taking an existing, strong outdoor signal and amplifying it within an indoor space. Boosting cell signal allows customers to maintain productivity and connect to emergency services whenever they need to, without worrying about losing connection.

Revisions to the FCC Code

In 2017, the FCC removed sections 20.7 and 20.9 from the code, applying the following revisions: 

  • Removed list of services or subservices previously classified as "mobile services" and "commercial mobile radio services" (CMRS)
  • Added assumption that some services are private mobile radio services (PMRS), along with a rebuttal process to this presumption 

These revisions bring great benefits to users of cell signal boosters. These benefits include: 

  • Increased flexibility for frequency bands. Previously, boosters using specific frequencies were automatically classified as CMRS, unless the customer could prove they were using it for private use. This led to an increase in the number of licensees accessing commercial frequencies, causing the FCC to open new frequency bands designed for commercial or flexible use. With the removal of 20.9, the FCC eliminates this assumption. Now, licensees have more control over the classification of their booster, and classification is determined not by the frequency on which the booster operates but by how the technology will be used. 
  • Reduction on required waivers. Services listed under 20.7 and 20.9 included VHF and UHF paging, devices often used by governmental licensees. Before the revisions, customers needed a waiver to use these services on CMRS frequencies for internal use. Now, the waivers are eliminated for all users. 

What You Need to Know

Here are some important factors to consider when selecting a cell signal booster: 

  • Compliance. All cell signal boosters must, of course, meet new and existing FCC guidelines. Compliance ensures that they will not interfere with cellular networks. If a customer uses a booster that is not compliant, they could receive a notification to shut it down. 
  • Frequency band. Cell signal boosters should operate on the same frequency as mobile devices. Cross-checking is necessary to determine if multiple devices on multiple carriers can all work with a single booster. A cell signal booster labeled "Works with all North American carriers" should do the trick.

WilsonPro carries boosters that are both FCC compliant and compatible with all mobile networks, so your customers can get consistent cell coverage in their homes, small offices or commercial buildings without running into problems. WilsonPro cell signal boosters use a passive distributed antenna system (passive DAS), which captures existing cellular signal from nearby cell towers via donor antennas and routes the signal to a cellular boosters to be amplified. With this method, cell signal strength can be increased by as much as 32 times. 

Click here to contact your local Accu-Tech representative to learn more about WilsonPro cell signal boosters. 

Topics: signal booster wilson cell signal fcc

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