Home
 » ISP News, Key Developments » 
Sponsored

Ofcom UK Expands the Range of Indoor Mobile Signal Boosters

Thursday, November 4th, 2021 (11:35 am) - Score 3,000
Signal tower service concept

Ofcom has today confirmed that they will next year introduce new changes to help expand the range of licence exempt “mobile phone repeaters” for UK consumers to adopt, which can be used in locations where people want to boost mobile signals for indoor and in-vehicle (low gain) use.

Since 2018 it’s been possible for consumers to use repeaters that boost and retransmit UK mobile signals, which can help to improve local mobile coverage, provided they follow the rules and don’t cause undue interference, or other adverse effects, for nearby customers. However, so far only Nextivity‘s (Cel-Fi) kit has been officially recognised as meeting Ofcom’s requirements.

Part of the problem was that Ofcom required that such repeaters should operate only over the frequency bands of any single licensed network operator at a given time. Such devices also had to adjust their power to the minimum necessary to make a reliable connection and incorporate anti-oscillation measures.

In order to improve the situation, Ofcom will now allow the use of two additional types of repeater, including provider specific repeaters and multi-operator repeaters. On top of that they’ll also publish a list of mobile signal repeaters that can meet their requirements, which should help to tackle situations where some manufacturers have made misleading “Ofcom approved” style claims.

Ofcom’s Statement

We have decided to extend the range of static indoor repeaters available for people to buy and install themselves without a licence. In particular, we will allow the use of two additional types of repeater:

• provider specific repeaters; and

• multi-operator repeaters.

Both these types of repeater may amplify the frequencies of more than one mobile operator at a time, provided they meet appropriate technical requirements specified by Ofcom.

In order to help the public identify repeaters that can be ‘legally’ used without a licence – rather than ‘illegal’ devices that risk causing interference – we have also decided to publish on our website a list of mobile phone repeaters that we understand comply with the technical requirements of our licence exemption regime.

To be clear, Ofcom will not endorse or approve particular products. Instead, the list will simply identify devices that have been subjected to testing by an accredited test house to show they meet our technical requirements, using a voluntary testing standard produced by Ofcom.

Ofcom’s decisions will be implemented in “early 2022“, after licence Exemption Regulations come into force. Until then, the use of mobile phone repeaters, apart from those single operator repeaters covered by their existing licence exemption and those supplied and operated under the control of a mobile network operator, will remain unlawful.

Take note that such devices are not to be confused with Wi-Fi Calling or Femtocell based signal boosters, which require the customer to have an existing broadband connection in order to function. The repeaters mentioned above simply boost an existing mobile signal, which is handy if you live in an area where fixed broadband does not exist (e.g. boats, camper vans and other situations where such things can come in handy).

mobile_signal_repeater_diagram_uk

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Jimbo says:

    OFCOM are slow to implement this.

    Cellfi are extremely expensive,but good quality.There too expensive for the home user,that’s why a majority of people go and get a cheap one,with no UKCA /CE mark or fake approval marking.

    Tested a Chinese based one,on Real-time Spectrum Analyser,the amount a out if band interference was incredible,in self oscillation harmonics on the radar band,also GPS spectrum.

  2. SM says:

    If a mobile-and-broadband provider were to combine this equipment in to one piece of hardware, could it potentially extend the local range of their mobile signals (eg: your house and next door maybe, much like a neighbours wifi router may appear when searching for wifi networks), so for example VM/O2, Vodafone, BT/EE could have these repeaters providing a very localised mini mobile cell, without the cost of a proper full mast and everything that comes with it (planning permission, and people objecting to the permission for various reasons)

    What sort of distance range do these mobile signal “repeaters” usually have? And do they (currently) only relay an existing signal that they can connect to or can they be a cell connected via a broadband connection to provide a signal that is out of reach of a mobile signal in not-spot areas with poor or no coverage from an operator?

    Might also be great for indoor locations like shopping centres to have a few that can bring a signal that is available “outdoors” inside their centres where the signal can often be too weak or non-existent?

    1. 5G_Infinity says:

      Outdoor repeaters can only be used by mobile operators who own the spectrum and have a license for its use.

      Range will depend on power used and also desired coverage pattern and so on. They have been used and are still used today the world over.

  3. Alex says:

    These repeaters are ONLY meant for indoor use in buildings where external signals don’t easily get in, and the corresponding repeated signal can’t easily get out. This is so they don’t interfere with the external Macro cell coverage.

  4. Philip says:

    I can still recall when Vodafone and O2 were giving people femtocells. It got so bad in our office in London that when you stepped out the front door you’d get hit with all your missed calls and texts so they got some magic boxes to try to fix it. It sort of worked.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £17.00 (*47.00)
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Community Fibre £20.00 (*31.50)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £23.00 (*26.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £25.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £26.00 (*44.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Vodafone £19.00 (*22.00)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £20.00 (*32.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £20.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £21.95 (*38.20)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £70 Reward Card
  • EE £22.00 (*30.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3760)
  2. BT (3073)
  3. Politics (2003)
  4. Building Digital UK (1961)
  5. FTTC (1903)
  6. Openreach (1886)
  7. Business (1736)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1522)
  9. Statistics (1444)
  10. FTTH (1367)
  11. 4G (1312)
  12. Virgin Media (1218)
  13. Fibre Optic (1191)
  14. Wireless Internet (1190)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1180)
  16. Vodafone (879)
  17. EE (864)
  18. 5G (812)
  19. TalkTalk (795)
  20. Sky Broadband (766)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact