Ofcom publishes new proposals to help people boost mobile signals indoors

Ofcom are also consulting on proposals to help make it easier for people to see which devices meet the technical requirements and are therefore legal to purchase.

People struggling for a mobile signal indoors will be able to buy a wider range of ‘mobile repeaters’ under new proposals published by Ofcom today. 

Ofcom are proposing to extend the range of repeaters available for people to buy and install themselves without a licence. In particular, by allowing certain types of repeater (‘provider-specific’ and ‘multi-operator’ repeaters) that will operate on the frequencies of more than one mobile operator to be licence-exempt, provided that they meet our proposed technical requirements.

Indoor mobile repeaters are devices used to boost a mobile signal and are typically used in residential properties. They can help people and businesses who struggle to get good mobile reception indoors. 

In 2018 Ofcom authorised the use of mobile repeaters, so long as they met certain technical requirements. They are now proposing to amend those requirements, to extend the range of devices that people would be able to purchase legally. This would provide more choice for people who are looking to boost their indoor mobile signal and potentially bring down the cost of devices.

Ofcom are also consulting on proposals to help make it easier for people to see which devices meet the technical requirements and are therefore legal to purchase. This would help to prevent people buying illegal devices, which could cause harmful interference with other wireless equipment. 

Ofcom stated:

“We are proposing that a device only be listed on our website if it has been demonstrated (following testing by an accredited test house and in according with a voluntary testing standard produced by Ofcom) that it complies with the technical requirements of our licence exemption regime.

This should help people identify static indoor mobile phone repeaters that can be legally used without the need for a licence.”

The consultation closes at 5pm on 28 July 2021.

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