Mobile repeaters and mobilesignal.co.uk: a warning

11 Dec 2012

Those living in mobile reception blackspots may well be tempted by one of the dozens of websites offering to sell you a signal repeater. These devices promise to improve your mobile reception by capturing weak signals through a high-gain aerial and boosting them through an amplifier. There's only one problem: they're often illegal.

Our Real World Computing wireless expert, Paul Ockenden, has warned readers off these questionable repeater devices in the past, and suggested legal ways to boost your mobile reception.  Telecoms regulator Ofcom has revised its advice on mobile repeaters since Paul wrote that column in 2010, but the core guidance remains the same: installing or using a repeater is a criminal offence unless it is CE marked and specifically authorised for use in the UK, because they can cause interference.

One site selling such repeaters is Mobilesignal.co.uk. The site came to our attention a couple of months ago because it was falsely carrying a PC Pro Excellence Awards 2011 logo at the top of its site. Mobilesignal.co.uk wasn't even nominated for a PC Pro Award in 2011, let alone qualified to call itself a winner. As is usual in such cases, I emailed the site and asked them to remove the logo immediately, but as is also usual in such cases, the email was ignored.

So, for the avoidance of doubt: don't buy mobile repeaters unless you're absolutely sure they're properly certified and licensed, and certainly don't buy them from Mobilesignal.co.uk.

Update 13 December 2012: After I once again contacted Mobilesignal.co.uk and reminded the site owner of his promise to remove our logo yesterday (see comments below), I'm happy to report our Excellence Awards logo has been removed from the site.  I'm (ahem) sure all the other awards logos that remain on the site were (cough) legitimately won.

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