Manufacturer Presses FCC For Ruling on Signal Boosters

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By Paul Barbagallo  

 

The Federal Communications Commission should move quickly to approve wider use of boosters for mobile telephone signals, according to a booster manufacturer.

Nextivity Inc. makes a type of booster--a baseband processor that optimizes the indoor transmission and reception of third-generation, or 3G, wireless signals.

“Continued delay jeopardizes not only the ability of companies like Nextivity to continue to invest in new technologies to solve these issues, but also the operators' ability to employ small cell architecture to increase broadband penetration and make more efficient use of spectrum,” the San Diego-based company wrote in an ex parte filing posted to the FCC's web site the week of Jan. 7.

The FCC initially proposed rules in 2011 to broaden the availability and use of signal boosters to enhance wireless coverage for consumers, particularly in rural and underserved areas. But so far, the agency has yet to act.

Wireless carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. have raised concern about the potential new rules, saying signal boosters could create interference if not properly deployed.

As part of that 2011 action, the agency had asked for comments on proposed rules to ensure that boosters do not adversely affect wireless networks.

It is still unclear, however, when the FCC might act.