Vendors, Cellular Carriers Come Together on Signal Booster Standards (6/26/12)
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | Comments

Five parties, including signal booster manufacturer Wilson Electronics and cellular service providers Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA, jointly proposed consumer cellular signal booster protection standards for adoption by the FCC.

The two proposed “safe harbor” standards consist of technical specifications designed to ensure that signal boosters manufactured for use by consumers do not cause interference to cellular service providers’ networks. Currently there are no technical standards adequately regulating cell-phone signal boosters.

“The fact that T-Mobile has joined Verizon Wireless in urging the FCC to adopt technical standards for signal boosters is very significant,” said attorney Russell D. Lukas, of Lukas, Nace, Gutierrez & Sachs, Wilson’s legal counsel for regulatory issues. “This marks the first time big-four wireless carriers that operate CDMA and GSM networks have acknowledged signal boosters can be deployed without harming their networks. That should make it easier for the FCC to adopt consumer signal booster rules.”

Both proposed standards are revisions of previously submitted protection standards. The first is a revised version of technical specifications that Wilson and Verizon Wireless jointly proposed earlier this year.

It applies to affordable consumer boosters designed to operate on multiple frequency bands in mobile environments or in fixed locations.

The other is a revision of protection standards previously proposed by device manufacturer Nextivity and T-Mobile and applies 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 of their use. V-Comm is the fifth company that agreed on the standards.

“It’s been a long road, but the current proposed specifications have received thorough vetting by other carriers, helping us ensure that consumer signal boosters will not interfere with the networks,” said Joe Banos, Wilson chief operating officer (COO). “We’ve spent a long time on this, but we’ve always strived to manufacture signal boosters that help consumers and public-safety officials while being transparent on the carriers’ networks.”

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