Are Mobile Phone Boosters and Repeaters Legal in Australia, or Not?
Are you fed up with being told by your mobile phone company that your property has good mobile phone and internet reception when you know it does not?
If you’re looking at taking control of your mobile phone signal needs yourself, here are a few legalities you may need to consider.
Boosters and Repeaters: What are they?
Firstly, there is a difference between a Mobile Phone Booster and a Mobile Phone Repeater.
Mobile phone boosters are illegal to import and use in Australia. Boosters differ from repeaters in that boosters connect to your mobile device via a cable, using a physical connection. They are a powered radio frequency amplifier that is physically connected to the handset of a mobile station and amplifies the transmitted and received signals. They can cause significant interference to mobile telecommunications networks, affecting coverage and therefore consumer access to mobile services. In short, your neighbourhood can end up with much worse to no signal because of your booster.
The Telecommunications (Prohibition of Mobile Phone Boosters) Declaration 2011 (the Declaration) prohibits the operation or supply, or the possession for the purpose of operation or supply, of mobile phone boosters which are designed or intended to be used in connection with the supply of public mobile telecommunication services (PMTS)*.
Under the Declaration, anyone found in possession of a booster may face a fine of up to $360,000*.
A Smart Repeater, however, is a legal mobile phone repeater that has been designed to complement an existing mobile network and to not interfere with its operation. It does this by monitoring the base station levels in actual real time, only repeating the signal of one particular carrier and having in-built protection to ensure it doesn’t overload or interfere with network operation.
These days, reputable businesses around the country, such as Signal Fox on the Sunshine Coast, use a product called the Cel-Fi Smart Repeater. Signal Fox have installed many Cel-Fi units for Sunshine Coast and hinterland residents over the past two years and can so far boast a 100% success rate. This is the only consumer mobile phone repeater that has been widely approved by all mobile carriers in Australia; currently approved for use on the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone mobile networks.
Can anyone use a Smart Repeater?
Despite what you might read elsewhere online, mobile repeaters are illegal to operate without consent. It’s an offence to operate an unlicensed radio communications device and heavy fines or imprisonment can apply.
A mobile phone repeater operates within apparatus or spectrum licensed radio frequency bands, licensed to mobile phone carriers. To operate this device, one requires appropriate carrier permission under a third party arrangement. To not abide by these laws, can attract some pretty heavy penalties such as up to two years prison and/or up to $270,000 per offense.*
Your Smart Repeater Installation business should be a registered reseller and before they install a Cel-Fi Smart Repeater, it is a legal requirement to register the installation property with ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) each and every time.
So, whilst it may be smart to take control and address your mobile phone reception problems head on, don’t get caught out and find yourself in a court room copping huge fines! Improve your mobile signals the right way. Contact a reputable specialist signal technician company, like Signal Fox, for a professional installation that will give you the clear reception that you desire, installed legally, by experts.