Illegal Mobile Network Boosters lead to increased incidence of call drops and lower data speeds thus degrading service experience for the majority of customers in the area
Wireless Monitoring Organisation, Department of Telecom (DoT), with the support of relevant authorities and mobile operators conducted raids on several locations across Mumbai to take down illegal Mobile Network Boosters installed by individuals.
These locations included both residential and commercial establishments in Thane, Dadar, Zaveri Bazaar, Vile Parle – East, MG Road, Dalal Street, Grant Road, Dontad Street, J.B. Nagar, Kalbadevi Road, CP Tank Road, Naigaon Cross, Bellasis Road, Fanas Wadi, Shamset Street. Raids were also conducted in the city where such illegal equipment is being sold. With this exercise in Mumbai, 23 illegal repeaters were removed and 14 notices were given to remove the identified ones with immediate effect.
Illegal mobile signal repeaters have become a major nuisance and are one of the biggest reasons for customers facing network issues like call drops and low data speeds. These illegal repeaters are installed by individuals/establishments at homes/offices/PG/Guest houses to boost mobile signals. This illegal equipment interferes with mobile networks, impacts signal quality and degrades network experience in the complete area. Mobile operators, who are making record investments in purchasing spectrum and rolling out network equipment are grappling with this challenge and have called out the authorities to crack down on these installations and take strict action.
Speaking on the raids being conducted, Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, COAI, commented, “While telcos are leaving no stones unturned in building world-class network infrastructures, they are grappling with the challenges that these unauthorised network boosters are posing. These devices not only interfere with the service provider’s cell sites but also make mobile handsets transmit higher power, so as to manage connectivity with the site. This invariably leads to higher battery consumption and degraded network experience for consumers. We are happy that Government authorities are undertaking strict actions against the violators, thereby protecting the interest of customers and the industry at large.”
The DoT along with the authorities may also decide to impose heavy penalties on sellers of this illegal equipment. Recently, on the request of the COAI, several e-commerce players stopped the sale of such illegal network boosters on their platforms.
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