The Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) has requested e-taliers in India to stop selling mobile phone signal boosters as it is illegal to sell them without having proper license. These signal boosters and repeaters also cause interference with existing air waves and impact the overall cellular network quality.
A mobile phone signal booster is a repeater system that makes use of an amplifier to add gain or power to the reception in different directions. The use of these external boosters is to receive and transmit signal to a cellular tower with greater power and sensitivity. Usually the logarithmic decibel (dB) gain is never below 7 dB and can go over 10 dB gain. The main purpose of these signal boosters is to take the existing cell phone signal around your office or home and amplify it. After the amplification, the signal is re-broadcasted to the area with weak signal.
However, it is important to register the signal booster devices with the cellular carrier. Also, under the Indian Wireless Telegraph Act 1933, these booster or repeaters fall under the category of wireless devices and hence require a licence. Possession of such devices is illegal without a licence and is a punishable offence under the Act.
"Despite clear provisions of law and specific directions from DoT prohibiting possession and sale of such equipment operating in licensed spectrum bands without obtaining requisite permission from DoT, your platform continues to sell such boosters/repeaters," COAI said in the letters to the e-commerce platforms according to the Mint.
Earlier in the Lok Sabha on January 2, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha had said that ecommerce platforms have been asked to comply with the statuary norms.
"A total of 101 notices have been issued to entities or individual users of unauthorized boosters and 63 such boosters have been confiscated and deactivated," Sinha had said in the Lok Sabha.
The price of mobile signal boosters can range from Rs 1,000 to Rs 25,000 or more. These devices create interference in the existing frequency band and lead to performance degradation, misinterpretation, or loss of information.
Edited By: Udit Verma