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Mobile phone repeaters

A mobile phone repeater is a radiocommunications device that regenerates or replicates a mobile signal. They are used to improve the reliability of mobile services.

You need written permission from a carrier to operate mobile phone repeaters in Australia.  

How to get the best reception

Many mobile phone carriers have products to improve your mobile network coverage. These may include mobile phone repeaters.

Repeaters are not always the best solution for mobile phone coverage issues. If you have concerns about reception, you should contact your mobile phone carrier. They will consider if there are any network issues that may be impacting your coverage. They may also discuss the best product for your needs.

For the best mobile reception in a vehicle, especially in rural areas, carriers recommend hands-free car kits with external vehicle-mounted high-gain antennas.

Authorised use of repeaters

You can only operate a mobile phone repeater in Australia if authorised by a carrier in writing. This is known as the carrier giving ‘third-party agreement’ to operate the device under their radiocommunications licence.

Carriers will only give third-party agreement if the mobile phone repeater meets the rules for operating radiocommunications devices in Australia.

Operating mobile phone repeaters without carrier permission is illegal because they can interfere with mobile networks. Illegal use of mobile phone repeaters may lead to imprisonment for up to 2 years, or fines of over $300,000.

The range of mobile phone repeaters that carriers will authorise is small compared to the number of products on the market. Be wary of dodgy online sellers and check with your mobile phone carrier before buying if you are unsure.

The difference between repeaters and boosters

Sometimes the terms ‘mobile phone repeater’ and ‘mobile phone booster’ are used interchangeably. However, they are different devices.

Mobile phone repeaters: communicate with multiple handsets using radiofrequency energy.

Mobile phone boosters: use a wired connection to a single mobile handset.

Mobile phone boosters are prohibited items. It is illegal to own, use or supply a mobile phone booster in Australia.

More information

For more information on how to improve your mobile phone coverage, contact your mobile phone carrier.

For details about the rules regarding mobile phone repeaters or boosters, contact our Customer Service Centre on 1300 850 115 or info@acma.gov.au.

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