Mobile coverage

Both businesses and private persons sometimes resort to installing equipment that enhances the reception of GSM or UMTS signals (called GSM or UMTS repeaters), for example in areas where mobile coverage is not experienced as optimal. This equipment is available on the market and can also be purchased through Internet, which may create the impression that its use is free and not subject to regulation. However, only mobile operators can install such repeaters without causing interference. To that effect the GSM or UMTS operators have exclusive rights to the frequencies by virtue of the licences they have obtained.

Repeaters “repeat” the GSM or UMTS frequency (frequencies): they retransmit the signal received after having amplified it. In order to use these frequencies the mobile operators have obtained a licence subject to strict conditions, as regards coverage among other things. By virtue of this licence the GSM or UMTS operators are allocated frequencies on an exclusive basis.

Only mobile operators may install such repeaters. This way they are able to integrate this equipment judiciously into their networks thus ensuring an operation free of interference. They supervise the functioning of this equipment and intervene should there be any problems.

You will find more information in the document “Everything you ever wanted to know about GSM and UMTS repeaters but were afraid to ask".

Conclusion: Installing and using GSM and UMTS repeaters at one’s own initiative is illegal unless the operator in question grants explicit permission.