Feature Article

June 28, 2012

T-Mobile Joins Verizon in Signal Booster Proposal for the FCC

Verizon Wireless has been petitioning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to standardize its regulations about cellular signal boosters, but the wireless carrier has been all alone until recently. T-Mobile has joined Verizon in its attempt to encourage the FCC to institute a pair of "safe-harbor" standards that consist of technical specifications designed to ensure that the growing use of consumer grade signal boosters do not result in interference to cellular service provider's networks. Presently, the FCC has no regulations that relate to signal boosters and their manufacturing or use.

"The fact that T-Mobile has joined Verizon Wireless in urging the FCC to adopt technical standards for signal boosters is very significant," said attorney Russell D. Lukas, of Lukas, Nace, Gutierrez & Sachs, Wilson's legal counsel for regulatory issues. "This marks the first time big-four wireless carriers that operate CDMA and GSM networks have acknowledged signal boosters can be deployed without harming their networks. That should make it easier for the FCC to adopt consumer signal booster rules."

Historically, the "big-four" wireless carriers divide into two different camps: the big players and the little. Verizon and AT&T control the vast majority of the market share and often collaborate to maintain their dominance. T-Mobile, Sprint and a number of smaller regional service providers fend off those attacks and manage to land a few legal blows of their own. For the mammoth Verizon and the nimble featherweight T-Mobile to join forces on this issue, the FCC's ruling seems inevitable if not imminent.  

Both carriers are working in conjunction with a manufacturing company, called Wilson Electronics, to develop realistic proposals for the FCC on the issue of signal boosters. Wilson Electronics has a 40 year history of design and manufacturing of signal boosters, antenna's and related components. Its niche more recently has been in cellular signal boosters designed for consumer use. 

Verizon is a sponsor of ITEXPO West 2012. To be held Oct. 2-5 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. For more information on IEXPO West 2012 click here.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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