FCC Seeks Public Comment on Wilson Electronics Proposal to Raise Cell Phone Signal Booster Certifica
U.S.-based maker of cell phone signal boosters petitions to have network protection compliance tests required of all cellular signal amplifiers
[USPRwire, Mon Feb 08 2010] The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking public comment on a proposal by Wilson Electronics (Wilson) asking the regulatory agency to raise its certification standards for cell phone signal boosters in order to prevent interference to service providers’ networks and equipment while increasing customer satisfaction.
Wilson (www.WilsonElectronics.com), manufacturer of North America’s top-selling line of cell phone signal boosters, in November 2009 submitted a “Petition for Rulemaking” to the FCC, recommending the agency require additional tests that cell phone signal boosters must pass in order to meet FCC’s certification standards for these devices.
The Wilson petition asks the FCC to mandate that amplifier designs submitted for certification be able to effectively demonstrate:
• Oscillation (feedback) detection and auto-shut down - To prevent interference with cell towers
• Proximity detection and auto shut down - To prevent signal overload of cell towers
• Bi-directional signal amplification – A weak link in cellular networks is the phone’s low power to the tower. Some signal boosters today amplify only the incoming signal to the phone. While the phone shows more bars, these boosters do nothing to increase the phone’s weak signal transmission back to the tower, where amplification is needed most.
“At the root of this issue is that we’re all trying to provide customers with better cell phone coverage and service,” said Joe Banos, Wilson chief operating officer. “We strongly believe that raising the FCC certification approval standards for cell signal boosters would protect performance of cell towers and prevent service disruptions that can be caused by some unsophisticated cell phone signal boosters in service today.
“At the same time, service providers would benefit from the higher standards because customers would have greater satisfaction with their cellular service.”
Company officials at Wilson agree with statements made by CTIA-The Wireless Association® (the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry) that the reliability of wireless communication can be harmed by the use of technically deficient boosters.
However, Wilson officials are not the only ones that believe well designed and engineered signal boosters can provide needed improvement in customers’ cell service, without causing interference to cellular networks or to public safety radio systems.
“Cell phone signal boosters have become an asset to consumers, and could become an asset to carriers as well,” said Allen Nogee, Principal Analyst for Wireless Component Technology Service at In-Stat. “These products help enhance customer satisfaction for the customer because they improve a cell phone’s signal strength and reduce dropped calls.
“For carriers, these devices could drastically reduce customer churn. That said, it’s important that manufacturers develop products that don’t interfere with a carrier’s network, as demonstrated by Wilson Electronics product line.”
Network interference caused by poorly designed signal boosters, which is not addressed by the current FCC certification procedures, would be eliminated if Wilson’s suggested changes were to be implemented. Wilson’s position is that the FCC certification process is the most logical way to address this issue.
“Having one central entity regulating and monitoring the implementation of the three protections being proposed by Wilson would ensure that signal boosters or amplifiers are designed to satisfy customers’ needs while protecting carriers,” Banos said. “Today though, problematic signal boosters receive FCC certification without important parameters being evaluated in the testing process. We believe that the least disruptive way to implement lasting change that will benefit both the end-user and the carrier networks is to add rules to the existing FCC certification process implementing the requirements we’ve outlined.”
How to Submit Comments to the FCC
Those who wish to comment online on the Wilson petition can, through Feb. 5, go to http://fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ and click on the Submit a Filing (Express) link. On the Proceeding List, click on Proceeding 10-4.
Fill in your personal information, type your comments in the Comments box and click Continue. On the following page, click Confirm. You will see a message confirming submission of your comments.
For additional background on the other petitions filed regarding the use of signal boosters and other amplification techniques used within wireless services, please see the public notice on the FCC website.
• Wilson Electronics signal boosters are standard equipment for many federal, state and local government agencies as well as public safety departments throughout North America.
• A recent National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident report recommended buses traveling on rural roads should carry cell phone signal boosters to facilitate the reporting of any emergency, and noted Wilson Electronics as an equipment supplier.
• The company’s signal booster products have won and been finalists for awards by the CTIA, The American Business Awards, CEDIA – the industry association of electronics installation contractors, and Mobile Village – Wireless Technology for Enterprises and Professionals, among others.
About Wilson Electronics, Inc.
Wilson Electronics, Inc., a leader in the wireless communications industry for more than 40 years, designs and manufactures a wide variety of cell phone signal boosters (or amplifiers), antennas and related components that significantly improve cellular communications for both mobile and in-building situations. All Wilson products are engineered, assembled and tested in the company's headquarters in St. George, Utah. Wilson signal boosters fully comply with FCC regulations for cellular devices and are FCC and Industry Canada type accepted. Wilson Electronics has patented amplifier technology, which protects cell sites by preventing oscillation and cell site overload. For more information, visit www.wilsonelectronics.com.
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