This schematic, provided
by SureCall, shows how
a passive DAS, such as a
consumer signal booster
solution, serves a small to
medium sized commercial
building. Despite the word
“consumer” in its name, a
consumer signal booster
solution is appropriate
for use in several types of
oscillation and cell site signal overload.
Specifically, the standard requires the
consumer signal boosters comply with
the technical parameters of the spectrum band they operate in, self-moni-tor and automatically shut down if not
in compliance with the standard. They
are also required to automatically detect and correct oscillations that may
occur in the uplink and downlink, and
shut down when the signal booster is
not needed. They must have interference avoidance features and the compliance features cannot be easily defeated.
Consumer signal boosters must also be
certified to ensure they meet the rules
outlined in the FCC Report and Order. A
list of all FCC-approved devices (so far)
was published February 8, 2016 and is
available on the FCC website.
All consumer signal boosters must be
registered with the wireless service providers. This registration is also a “
condition of authorization” or consent to operate the signal booster. Practically, this
rule provides the wireless providers the
ability to locate, notify the owner, and
shut down a signal booster if it interferes with their network. Registration is
an online process. Each wireless service
provider has a website and procedure to
facilitate the registration and offer consent to operate.
The consumer signal booster manufacturers must provide specific labeling
indicating the installed device is a consumer device. The labeling must appear
on the device, the packaging, the owner’s manual, installation instructions
and marketing materials. Label language as specified by the FCC follows.
This is a CONSUMER device.
BEFORE USE, you MUST
REGISTER THE DEVICE with your
wireless provider and have your
provider’s consent. Most wireless
providers consent to the use of sig-
nal boosters. Some providers may
not consent to the use of this device
on their network. If you are unsure,
contact your provider.
You MUST operate this device
with approved antennas and cables as specified by the manufacturer. Antennas MUST be installed at least 20 cm ( 8 inches)
from any person.
You MUST cease operating this
device immediately if requested by
the FCC or a licensed wireless service provider.
WARNING. E911 location information may not be provided or may
be inaccurate for calls served by using this device.
The FCC Report and Order also provides
information and guidance for indus-
trial signal boosters. The category in-
dustrial signal booster represents all sig-
nal boosters other than consumer signal
boosters. Industrial signal boosters are
also passive DAS solutions. They are very
similar to the consumer signal booster,
except they have higher gain and output
power and are more designed to serve
larger buildings and venues with large
user counts. Similar to active DAS solu-
tions, their installation is restricted to
the wireless licensees and their qualified
installers. They may only be installed
with “explicit” wireless licensee con-
sent and close wireless service provider
(carrier) coordination. These systems
are widely deployed today.
Additional and more-detailed information is available from the following resources.
• FCC Report and Order (106 pages):
• The FCC Signal Booster website:
• The list of approved Signal Boosters:
• The FCC Electronic Comment Filing
System, ECFS 3.0. Here you can find
all the docketed proceedings in-
cluding notices and comments for
wireless signal boosters. fcc.gov/
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Karl Griffith serves manufacturers, distributors, installers, and consumers in the communication connectivity supply chain through
his company Karl Griffith Consulting, LLC.
He retired in April 2016 after 39 years with
Graybar Electric Company. He served his last
25 years at Graybar in corporate marketing as a product specialist, market manager,
and director of emerging technology. He also
served two terms on BICSI’s board of directors and holds the Registered Communications
Distribution Designer (RCDD) credential.
Griffith welcomes inquiries and comments at