Despite what you may hear, read or be told by someone who wants to sell you one, mobile telephone repeaters cannot be used in Australia, unless you're the holder of an applicable spectrum or apparatus licence (in practice, usually a mobile telecommunications carrier), or the licensee has personally given you direct permission.
What is a mobile telephone repeater?
A repeater is a fixed active device that may be used in mobile networks. It is designed to regenerate or replicate a mobile signal. Mobile carriers regularly use repeaters as part of their ordinary network management. However, when used without a carrier's permission, repeaters have the capacity to cause substantial interference to the cellular network and may have an impact on mobile services, including access to emergency call services.
Why are we telling you this?
The ACMA is aware that certain overseas-based internet traders (often appearing to be located in Australia) have been informing the Australian market that anyone in Australia can use repeaters 'legally'. This is not correct. Only the holder of an applicable spectrum or apparatus licence is permitted to use, or authorise the use of, repeaters.
It is an offence under the Act to operate an unlicensed radiocommunications device, or possess this device for the purpose of operation. A person found guilty of this offence may be imprisoned for up to two years for each offence. A body corporate may receive a penalty of over $300,000 (1,500 penalty units) per offence (sections 46 and 47 of the Act). Other penalties may apply, such as the interference offence provisions at Part 4.2 of the Act.
Further information is available on our website.