Government Okays Cell Booster Use for U.S. Small Business

Nicholas Jones | July 20, 2018



On March 22 of this year the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave all U.S. cell phone users some really good news. And it directly relates to weBoost cell phone boosters, so that’s why we’re writing about it here.

You may not have heard or read anything, but on March 22 the FCC took steps to allow American businesses more flexibility in the use of consumer cell signal boosters.

Officially, the FCC eliminated what’s called the “personal-use restriction” on some cell phone signal boosters. Until March 22, the previous rules had stated that all cell signal boosters were limited to “personal use” of the owner.

Understandably, some small-business owners worried the personal use restriction prohibited them from using cell boosters to solve cellular coverage problems they experienced in their businesses.


Helping the world be more connected

An official FCC statement regarding the rule change said, “The rules adopted (on March 22) eliminate the current personal use restriction” on some boosters, allowing businesses, educational institutions and other enterprises and their customers to benefit from their use.

Wilson Electronics, parent company of weBoost, has been helping formulate the FCC’s rules governing cell signal boosters for well over a decade. Wilson was instrumental in developing the current rules adopted in 2013, and fully supports the Commission’s latest actions.

“This is about helping the world to be more connected,” said Bruce Lancaster, CEO of Wilson Electronics.

The FCC statement further defined consumer signal boosters as “devices that extend and improve wireless service without special engineering or professional installation,” and “are designed to be used ‘out of the box’ to improve wireless coverage within a limited area such as a home, boat, office, or recreational vehicle.”

Of course that describes weBoost cell boosters “to a T.”

In addition, the FCC adopted on March 22 what’s known in government-speak as a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPR). That action proposes to eliminate any remaining personal use restrictions from all consumer cell boosters, and asks for comment on whether to allow consumer cell boosters to operate on additional frequency bands.

Could that latter part be in anticipation of 5G cellular networks coming online in the near future, with supporting 5G phones available to consumers? That’s certainly one line of thinking.

The FNPR is the federal government’s public notification basically saying, “We’re going to study this issue and take comments for about a year-and-a-half,” before actually making the proposed rule changes official.


A win for business everywhere

As a champion for improving access to stronger cellular signals and better connectivity for businesses, Wilson has long supported the removal of the personal use restriction from cell boosters.

“The FCC vote on March 22 to lift the personal use restriction is a huge win for businesses everywhere,” Lancaster said. “While 70 percent of all cellular connections take place inside a building, 72 percent of those users experience some difficulty, dropped calls or poor cell reception.

“Cell phone signal booster systems are crucial to solving these issues and meeting companies’ connectivity expectations. Removing this regulation enables the 5.6 million commercial buildings in the United States to use cellular boosters to be better connected, improving their productivity and overall success.”

We don’t spend a lot of blog space writing about government regulation, but we feel a responsibility to keep consumers and small-business owners who are interested in the use of cell boosters up-to-date so they know what’s going on.

We’ll keep using this space as developments require to keep you in the loop regarding signal booster regulations.


Click to learn more about cell phone boosters for homes and small business.