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Why are mobile repeaters illegal?

Mobile Coverage

With 1000’s of websites selling mobile repeaters to boost in-building mobile coverage it’s hard to believe that they are illegal to use. Legal to sell but not to use; makes total sense.

Perhaps first we need to understand what a mobile repeater is?

A mobile repeater draws signal from outside your building and broadcasts it inside on the chosen mobile network/frequency of your choice. The issue in using this technology from the mobile networks perspective is that you’re draining signal from their macro (outside) network making the experience for end users poor in terms of voice and data which results in customers either leaving their network or complaining, which of course does not please the mobile operators. It is in fact not uncommon for the UK networks to sue anyone using a mobile repeater as they are so detrimental to their infrastructure.

To legally sell and install a mobile coverage solution, it must meet JOTS (joint operator technical spec) which is the UK standard allowing a system to integrate with the UK mobile network operators (MNO) infrastructure. If any system on the market is not JOTS compliant, it is not legal.

For a building below 70,000 square feet the answer for an appropriate solution is going to be managed 3G small cells which can come in a single or multi-operator variant, meaning either one or all three mobile operators providing signal within a building. For anything above 70,000 square feet, the solution will be a distributed antenna system (DAS) which uses a single signal source per operator, either a small cell or base station, the signal of which is distributed via fibre optic cables to radio antennas strategically placed throughout the building to provide total coverage.

To find out more about mobile coverage solutions call 02393 874 720.

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