updated 01:37 pm EDT, Tue June 26, 2012
Compliance testing procedures still being decided
The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to change the rules governing cell-signal boosters. The agency is considering a detailed set of specifications for signal amplifiers, along with new requirements for users on the largely unregulated industry, according to Computer World. The main concern from carriers is interference caused through a signal overlap from the amplifiers. Customers may be asked to inform carriers of booster use, while the hardware could be required to reduce its power or shut down when not needed.
Wilson Electronics, a booster manufacturer that has been asking for FCC rules on the devices for a considerable period of time, believes there is a good chance the FCC will approve the rules within 90 days with few changes, if any. Wilson, two carriers, and two other manufacturers wrote to the FCC on June 8, advising that they had agreed on a set of rules concerning boosters, however they did not agree on the proposal that would require subscribers to receive permission for amplifier use; the involved parties will issue separate proposals to the FCC regarding carrier notifications.
Compliance testing may take as long as six months just to decide on testing procedures, according to Wilson COO Joe Banos. After that, boosters that fail the testing would be removed from sale. This is in an extension to the current tests, in which boosters receive basic approval from the FCC as wireless devices. The FCC approved Wilson's first LTE booster for car use, the Sleek 4G-V, on Monday.