This document sets out Ofcom’s decision to make regulations that will allow consumers to operate two categories of mobile phone repeaters on a licence-exempt basis i.e. with no need for a licence:
Mobile phone repeaters amplify signals between a mobile phone and a network operator’s base station and can enhance coverage in situations where the signal is weak. Their use by consumers is currently unlawful, as the types of wideband repeaters that we come across today can cause undue interference or other adverse effects to mobile services for other consumers. The only exception is if the repeaters are supplied and operated under the control of a mobile network operator.
This document sets out the technical requirements that need to be met for mobile phone repeaters to be lawfully used by consumers on a licence exempt basis whilst ensuring they are not likely to be a source of undue interference or have an adverse effect on technical quality of service. This relates specifically to static mobile phone repeaters for indoor use; and low gain mobile phone repeaters for in-vehicle use.
It should be noted that, until the licence exemption regulations come into force in early 2018, the use of mobile phone repeaters, apart from those supplied and operated under the control of a mobile network operator, will be unlawful.
The use of other types of mobile phone repeaters, apart from those supplied and operated under the control of a mobile network operator, will continue to be unlawful even after the regulations come into force.