What is a mobile signal repeater and is it legal to use one?

The Cel-Fi range of products are unique in that they are licence exempt in the UK and fully Complies with OFCOM Si 2018/399, this mean that the Cel-fi products are indeed 'legal. The vast majority (nearly all) competitor offers are not licence exempt and therefore illegal. We have been called to numerous Business, Hospital, and commercial premises where illegal boosters have disrupted the effectiveness of the Network, Ofcom inspectors have demanded the booster be removed, this can be exceptionally expensive, hugely inconvenient, this issue will not occur with Cel-fi. The importance of 'Licence exempt' should not be underestimated.

According to Ofcom: “Repeater devices transmit or re-transmit in the cellular frequency bands. Only the mobile network operators are licensed to use equipment that transmits in these bands. Installation or use of repeater devices by anyone without a licence is a criminal offence under Section 8 of the WT Act 2006. Any person found guilty of installing or using such devices without a licence would be liable on conviction to a fine of up to £5000 and/or up to 51 weeks’ imprisonment (Six months in Scotland and Northern Ireland). Cel-fi products are 'Licence exempt' and therefore you do not run that risk with this range of products”

A mobile signal repeater is a device used for boosting the mobile phone reception by the usage of three units: a reception antenna, a signal amplifier and an internal rebroadcast antenna. The latter is very much similar to the mobile phone mast used for broadcasting by the network providers. The only difference is they are much smaller and usually used in one building. Modern mobile repeater amplifiers ‘repeat’ or to be more exact rebroadcast mobile signal inside the designated area. This type of systems usually uses an external antenna to collect the best mobile signal, which is then transmitted to an amplifier unit which strengthens the signal and retransmits it locally.

Well one of the ways of boosting your mobile phone signal that is totally legal is by using Cel-Fi. Yes Cel-Fi is a mobile signal booster so how different is it from other signal repeaters?

Ofcom also says: “In the UK the use of any radio transmitting device is required to be either licensed or specifically exempted from licensing under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (WT Act 2006). For mobile telephones, the use of the spectrum by the network operators is licensed to cover the use of transmitters and repeaters, while user devices (i.e. handsets) are covered by a general exemption.” Off.com advises anyone interested in improving coverage in a particular area to contact their network provider.

In other words the Ofcom rules are:

  • The boosters must not interfere with other networks.
  • The boosters remain within the license conditions of the mobile network which they boost – this means that the mobile network must be able to control them (turn them on and off) and the boosters must automatically configure themselves so as to never cause harm to the network.

Some products may claim to meet (1) but no product other than Cel-Fi can meet (2).

The the Ofcom policy is that it is illegal to sell boosters that do not meet the requirements and definitely illegal to actually use them!