Goto Section: 20.20 | 20.22 | Table of Contents

FCC 20.21
Revised as of December 7, 2018
Goto Year:2018 | 2020
  § 20.21   Signal boosters.

   (a) Operation of Consumer Signal Boosters. A subscriber in good
   standing of a commercial mobile radio service system may operate a
   Consumer Signal Booster under the authorization held by the licensee
   providing service to the subscriber provided that the subscriber
   complies with paragraphs (a)(1) through (7) of this section. Failure to
   comply with all applicable rules in this section and all applicable
   technical rules for the frequency band(s) of operation voids the
   authority to operate the Consumer Signal Booster.

   (1) Prior to operation, the subscriber obtains the consent of the
   licensee providing service to the subscriber;

   (2) Prior to operation, the subscriber registers the Consumer Signal
   Booster with the licensee providing service to the subscriber;

   (3) The subscriber only operates the Consumer Signal Booster with
   approved antennas, cables, and/or coupling devices as specified by the
   manufacturer of the Consumer Signal Booster;

   (4) The subscriber operates the Consumer Signal Booster on frequencies
   used for the provision of subscriber-based services under parts 22
   (Cellular), 24 (Broadband PCS), 27 (AWS-1, 700 MHz Lower A-E Blocks,
   and 700 MHz Upper C Block), and 90 (Specialized Mobile Radio) of this
   chapter. Operation on part 90 (Specialized Mobile Radio) frequencies is
   permitted upon the Commission's release of a public notice announcing
   the date Consumer Signal Boosters may be used in the band;

   (5) The Consumer Signal Booster complies with paragraphs (e), (f), (g),
   and (h) of this section and § 2.907 of this chapter;

   (6) The subscriber may not deactivate any features of the Consumer
   Signal Booster which are designed to prevent harmful interference to
   wireless networks. These features must be enabled and operating at all
   times the signal booster is in use; and

   (7) If operating a Wideband Consumer Signal Booster, the subscriber
   operates it only for personal use.

   (b) De minimis operation of Consumer Signal Boosters. A third party's
   incidental use of a subscriber's Consumer Signal Booster operated under
   this paragraph is de minimis and shall be authorized under the
   authorization held by the licensee providing service to the third
   party.

   (c) Operation of Industrial Signal Boosters. An individual or
   non-individual, other than a representative of a foreign government,
   may operate an Industrial Signal Booster provided that the individual
   or non-individual:

   (1) Has an FCC license or obtains the express consent of the
   licensee(s) whose frequencies are being retransmitted by the device on
   a regular basis, and

   (2) Uses an Industrial Signal Booster which complies with paragraph (f)
   of this section.

   (d) Operation on a secondary, non-interference basis. Operation of
   signal boosters under this section is on a secondary, non-interference
   basis to primary services licensed for the frequency bands on which
   they transmit, and to primary services licensed for the adjacent
   frequency bands that might be affected by their transmissions.

   (1)  The operation of signal boosters must not cause harmful
   interference to the communications of any primary licensed service.

   (2)  Upon request of an FCC representative or a licensee experiencing
   harmful interference, a signal booster operator must:

   (i) Cooperate in determining the source of the interference, and

   (ii) If necessary, deactivate the signal booster immediately, or as
   soon as practicable, if immediate deactivation is not possible.

   (e) Consumer Signal Booster Network Protection Standard. (1) All
   Consumer Signal Boosters must incorporate features to prevent harmful
   interference to wireless networks including but not limited to those
   enumerated in this section.

   (2) Certification requirements. (i) A Consumer Signal Booster can only
   be certificated and operated if it complies with all applicable rules
   in this subpart and all applicable technical rules for the frequency
   band(s) of operation including, but not limited to: § 22.355 of this
   chapter, Public Mobile Services, frequency tolerance; § 22.913 of this
   chapter, Cellular Radiotelephone Service effective radiated power
   limits; § 22.917 of this chapter, Cellular Radiotelephone Service,
   emission limitations for cellular equipment; § 24.232 of this chapter,
   Broadband Personal Communications Service, power and antenna height
   limits; § 24.238 of this chapter, Broadband Personal Communications
   Service, emission limitations for Broadband PCS equipment; § 27.50 of
   this chapter, Miscellaneous Wireless Communications Services, power and
   antenna height limits; § 27.53 of this chapter, Miscellaneous Wireless
   Communications Services, emission limits; § 90.205 of this chapter,
   Private Land Mobile Radio Services, power and antenna height limits;
   § 90.210 of this chapter, Private Land Mobile Radio Services, emission
   masks; and § 90.247 of this chapter, Private Land Mobile Radio Services,
   mobile repeater stations.

   (ii) In case of any conflict between the rules set forth in this
   section and the rules set forth in parts 22, 24, 27, and 90 of title
   47, chapter I of the Code of Federal Regulations, the rules in this
   section shall govern.

   (iii) The application for certification must satisfy the Commission
   that the Consumer Signal Boosters' features designed to prevent harmful
   interference and protect wireless networks cannot be easily defeated
   and must be enabled at all times.

   (3) Frequency Bands. Consumer Signal Boosters must be designed and
   manufactured such that they only operate on the frequencies used for
   the provision of subscriber-based services under parts 22 (Cellular),
   24 (Broadband PCS), 27 (AWS-1, 700 MHz Lower A-E Blocks, and 700 MHz
   Upper C Block), and 90 (Specialized Mobile Radio) of this chapter. The
   Commission will not certificate any Consumer Signal Boosters for
   operation on part 90 of this chapter (Specialized Mobile Radio)
   frequencies until the Commission releases a public notice announcing
   the date Consumer Signal Boosters may be used in the band.

   (4) Self-monitoring. Consumer Signal Boosters must automatically
   self-monitor their operation to ensure compliance with applicable noise
   and gain limits and either self-correct or shut down automatically if
   their operation exceeds those parameters.

   (5) Anti-oscillation. Consumer Signal Boosters must be able to detect
   and mitigate any unintended oscillations in uplink and downlink bands
   (such as may result from insufficient isolation between the antennas).

   (6) Power Down. Consumer Signal Boosters must automatically power down
   or cease amplification as they approach any affected base station.

   (7) Interference Avoidance for Wireless Subsystems. Consumer Signal
   Boosters using unlicensed (part 15 of this chapter) or other frequency
   bands for wireless transmissions between donor and server subsystems
   for their internal operations must employ interference avoidance
   methods to prevent interference transmitted into authorized CMRS
   spectrum bands.

   (8) Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters. A Wideband Consumer Signal
   Booster will meet the Consumer Signal Booster Network Protection
   Standard if it complies with paragraphs (e)(1) through (e)(7) of this
   section and the following:

   (i) Technical Requirements—(A) Noise Limits. (1) The transmitted noise
   power in dBm/MHz of consumer boosters at their uplink port shall not
   exceed −103 dBm/MHz—RSSI. RSSI (received signal strength indication
   expressed in negative dB units relative to 1 mW) is the downlink
   composite received signal power in dBm at the booster donor port for
   all base stations in the band of operation.

   (2) The transmitted maximum noise power in dBm/MHz of consumer boosters
   at their uplink and downlink ports shall not exceed the following
   limits:

   (i) Fixed booster maximum noise power shall not exceed −102.5 dBm/MHz +
   20 Log10 (Frequency), where Frequency is the uplink mid-band frequency
   of the supported spectrum bands in MHz.

   (ii) Mobile booster maximum noise power shall not exceed−59 dBm/MHz.

   (iii) Compliance with Noise limits will use instrumentation calibrated
   in terms of RMS equivalent voltage, and with booster input ports
   terminated or without input signals applied within the band of
   measurement.

   (B) Bidirectional Capability. Consumer Boosters must be able to provide
   equivalent uplink and downlink gain and conducted uplink power output
   that is at least 0.05 watts. One-way consumer boosters (i.e., uplink
   only, downlink only, uplink impaired, downlink impaired) are
   prohibited. Spectrum block filtering may be used provided the uplink
   filter attenuation is not less than the downlink filter attenuation,
   and where RSSI is measured after spectrum block filtering is applied
   referenced to the booster's input port for each band of operation.

   (C) Booster Gain Limits. (1) The uplink gain in dB of a consumer
   booster referenced to its input and output ports shall not exceed −34
   dB—RSSI + MSCL.

   (i) Where RSSI is the downlink composite received signal power in dBm
   at the booster donor port for all base stations in the band of
   operation. RSSI is expressed in negative dB units relative to 1 mW.

   (ii) Where MSCL (Mobile Station Coupling Loss) is the minimum coupling
   loss in dB between the wireless device and input port of the consumer
   booster. MSCL must be calculated or measured for each band of operation
   and provided in compliance test reports.

   (2) The uplink and downlink maximum gain of a Consumer Booster
   referenced to its input and output ports shall not exceed the following
   limits:

   (i) Fixed Booster maximum gain shall not exceed 6.5 dB + 20 Log10
   (Frequency)

   (ii) Where, Frequency is the uplink mid-band frequency of the supported
   spectrum bands in MHz.

   (iii) Mobile Booster maximum gain shall not exceed 50 dB when using an
   inside antenna (e.g., inside a vehicle), 23 dB when using direct
   contact coupling (e.g., cradle-type boosters), or 15 dB when directly
   connected (e.g., boosters with a physical connection to the phone).

   (D) Power Limits. A booster's uplink power must not exceed 1 watt
   composite conducted power and equivalent isotropic radiated power
   (EIRP) for each band of operation. Composite downlink power shall not
   exceed 0.05 watt (17 dBm) conducted and EIRP for each band of
   operation. Compliance with power limits will use instrumentation
   calibrated in terms of RMS equivalent voltage.

   (E) Out of Band Emission Limits. Booster out of band emissions (OOBE)
   shall be at least 6 dB below the FCC's mobile emission limits for the
   supported bands of operation. Compliance to OOBE limits will utilize
   high peak-to-average CMRS signal types.

   (F) Intermodulation Limits. The transmitted intermodulation products of
   a consumer booster at its uplink and downlink ports shall not exceed
   the power level of −19 dBm for the supported bands of operation.
   Compliance with intermodulation limits will use boosters operating at
   maximum gain and maximum rated output power, with two continuous wave
   (CW) input signals spaced 600 kHz apart and centered in the pass band
   of the booster, and with a 3 kHz measurement bandwidth.

   (G) Booster Antenna Kitting. All consumer boosters must be sold with
   user manuals specifying all antennas and cables that meet the
   requirements of this section. All consumer boosters must be sold
   together with antennas, cables, and/or coupling devices that meet the
   requirements of this section. The grantee is required to submit a
   technical document with the application for FCC equipment authorization
   that shows compliance of all antennas, cables and/or coupling devices
   with the requirements of this section, including any antenna or
   equipment upgrade options that may be available at initial purchase or
   as a subsequent upgrade.

   (H) Transmit Power Off Mode. When the consumer booster cannot otherwise
   meet the noise and gain limits defined herein it must operate in
   “Transmit Power Off Mode.” In this mode of operation, the uplink and
   downlink noise power shall not exceed −70 dBm/MHz and both uplink and
   downlink gain shall not exceed the lesser of 23 dB or MSCL.

   (I) Uplink Inactivity. When a consumer booster is not serving an active
   device connection after 5 minutes the uplink noise power shall not
   exceed −70 dBm/MHz.

   (ii) Interference Safeguards. Consumer boosters must include features
   to prevent harmful interference including, at a minimum, those
   enumerated in this subsection. These features may not be deactivated by
   the operator and must be enabled and operating at all times the signal
   booster is in use.

   (A) Anti-Oscillation. Consumer boosters must be able to detect and
   mitigate (i.e., by automatic gain reduction or shut down), any
   oscillations in uplink and downlink bands. Oscillation detection and
   mitigation must occur automatically within 0.3 seconds in the uplink
   band and within 1 second in the downlink band. In cases where
   oscillation is detected, the booster must continue mitigation for at
   least one minute before restarting. After five such restarts, the
   booster must not resume operation until manually reset.

   (B) Gain Control. Consumer boosters must have automatic limiting
   control to protect against excessive input signals that would cause
   output power and emissions in excess of that authorized by the
   Commission.

   (C) Interference Avoidance for Wireless Subsystems. Consumer boosters
   using unlicensed (part 15) or other frequency bands for wireless
   transmissions between donor and server subsystems for its internal
   operations must employ interference avoidance methods to prevent
   interference transmitted into authorized CMRS spectrum bands and must
   meet applicable limits for radiofrequency exposure.

   (9) Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters. A Provider-Specific
   Consumer Signal Booster will meet the Consumer Signal Booster Network
   Protection Standard if it complies with paragraphs (e)(1) through
   (e)(7) of this section and the following:

   (i) Technical Requirements—(A) Noise Limits. The transmitted noise
   power in dBm/MHz of frequency selective consumer boosters outside the
   licensee's spectrum blocks at their uplink and downlink ports shall not
   exceed the following limits:

   (1) −103 dBm/MHz−RSSI

   (i) Where RSSI is the downlink composite signal power received in dBm
   for frequencies in the band of operation outside the licensee's
   spectrum block as measured after spectrum block filtering is applied
   and is referenced to the booster's donor port for each band of
   operation. RSSI is expressed in negative dB units relative to 1 mW.

   (ii) Boosters with MSCL less than 40 dB, shall reduce the Noise output
   in (A) by 40 dB−MSCL, where MSCL is the minimum coupling loss in dB
   between the wireless device and booster's server port. MSCL must be
   calculated or measured for each band of operation and provided in
   compliance test reports.

   (2)(i) Fixed booster maximum downlink noise power shall not exceed
   −102.5 dBm/MHz + 20 Log10 (Frequency), where Frequency is the uplink
   mid-band frequency of the supported spectrum bands in MHz.

   (ii) Mobile booster maximum noise power shall not exceed −59 dBm/MHz.

   (iii) Compliance with Noise limits will use instrumentation calibrated
   in terms of RMS equivalent voltage, and with booster input ports
   terminated or without input signals applied within the band of
   measurement.

   (B) Bidirectional Capability. Consumer Boosters must be able to provide
   equivalent uplink and downlink gain and conducted uplink power output
   that is at least 0.05 watts. One-way consumer boosters (i.e., uplink
   only, downlink only, uplink impaired, downlink impaired) are
   prohibited. Spectrum block filtering used must provide uplink filter
   attenuation not less than the downlink filter attenuation, and where
   RSSI is measured after spectrum block filtering is applied referenced
   to the booster's input port for each band of operation.

   (C) Booster Gain Limits. The gain of the frequency selective consumer
   booster shall meet the limits below.

   (1) The uplink and downlink gain in dB of a frequency selective
   consumer booster referenced to its input and output ports shall not
   exceed BSCL−28 dB−(40 dB−MSCL).

   (i) Where BSCL is the coupling loss between the booster's donor port
   and the base station's input port, and MSCL is the minimum coupling
   loss in dB between the wireless device and the booster's server port.
   MSCL must be calculated or measured for each band of operation and
   provided in compliance test reports.

   (ii) In order of preference, BSCL is determined as follows: determine
   path loss between the base station and the booster; such measurement
   shall be based on measuring the received forward pilot/control channel
   power at the booster and reading the pilot/control channel transmit
   power from the base station as defined in the system information
   messages sent by the base station; estimate BSCL by assuming that the
   base station is transmitting at a level of + 25 dBm per channel (assume
   a small, lightly loaded cell) and measuring the total received signal
   power level within the channel in dBm (RPCH) received at the booster
   input port. BSCL is then calculated as 25-RPCH; or assume that the BSCL
   is 70 dB without performing any measurement.

   (2) The uplink and downlink maximum gain of a frequency selective
   consumer booster referenced to its input and output ports shall not
   exceed the following limits:

   (i) Fixed Booster maximum gain shall not exceed 19.5 dB + 20 Log10
   (Frequency), or 100 dB for systems having automatic gain adjustment
   based on isolation measurements between booster donor and server
   antennas.

   (ii) Where, Frequency is the uplink mid-band frequency of the supported
   spectrum bands in MHz.

   (iii) Mobile Booster maximum gain shall not exceed 15 dB when directly
   connected (e.g., boosters with a physical connection to the subscriber
   device), 23 dB when using direct contact coupling (e.g., cradle-type
   boosters), or 50 dB when using an inside antenna (e.g., inside a
   vehicle). For systems using an inside antenna that have automatic gain
   adjustment based on isolation measurements between booster donor and
   server antenna and automatic feedback cancellation, the mobile booster
   maximum gain shall not exceed 58 dB and 65 dB for frequencies below and
   above 1 GHz, respectively.

   (D) Power Limits. A booster's uplink power must not exceed 1 watt
   composite conducted power and equivalent isotropic radiated power
   (EIRP) for each band of operation. Downlink power shall not exceed 0.05
   watt (17 dBm) composite and 10 dBm per channel conducted and EIRP for
   each band of operation. Compliance with power limits will use
   instrumentation calibrated in terms of RMS equivalent voltage.

   (E) Out of Band Gain Limits. (1) A frequency selective booster shall
   have the following minimum attenuation referenced to the gain in the
   center of the pass band of the booster:

   (i) −20 dB at the band edge, where band edge is the end of the
   licensee's allocated spectrum,

   (ii) −30 dB at 1 MHz offset from band edge,

   (iii) −40 dB at 5 MHz offset from band edge.

   (2) A frequency selective booster having maximum gain greater than 80
   dB (referenced to the center of the pass band) shall limit the out of
   band gain to 60 dB at 0.2 MHz offset from the band edge, and 45 dB at 1
   MHz offset from the band edge, where band edge is the end of the
   licensee's allocated spectrum.

   (F) Out of Band Emission Limits. Booster out of band emissions (OOBE)
   shall meet the FCC's mobile emission limits for the supported bands of
   operation. Compliance to OOBE limits will utilize high peak-to-average
   CMRS signal types.

   (G) Intermodulation Limits. The transmitted intermodulation products of
   a consumer booster at its uplink and downlink ports shall not exceed
   the power level of −19 dBm for the supported bands of operation.
   Compliance with intermodulation limits will use boosters operating at
   maximum gain and maximum rated output power, with two continuous wave
   (CW) input signals spaced 600 kHz apart and centered in the pass band
   of the booster, and with a 3 kHz measurement bandwidth.

   (H) Booster Antenna Kitting. All consumer boosters must be sold with
   user manuals specifying all antennas and cables that meet the
   requirements of this section. All consumer boosters must be sold
   together with antennas, cables, and/or coupling devices that meet the
   requirements of this section. The grantee is required to submit a
   technical document with the application for FCC equipment authorization
   that shows compliance of all antennas, cables, and/or coupling devices
   with the requirements of this section, including any antenna or
   equipment upgrade options that may be available at initial purchase or
   as a subsequent upgrade.

   (I) Transmit Power Off Mode. When the consumer booster cannot otherwise
   meet the noise and gain limits defined herein it must operate in
   “Transmit Power OFF Mode.” In this mode of operation, the uplink and
   downlink noise power shall not exceed −70 dBm/MHz and uplink gain shall
   not exceed the lesser of 23 dB or MSCL.

   (J) Uplink Inactivity. When a consumer booster is not serving an active
   device connection after 5 seconds the uplink noise power shall not
   exceed −70 dBm/MHz.

   (ii) Interference Safeguards. Consumer boosters must include features
   to prevent harmful interference including, at a minimum, those
   enumerated in this subsection. These features may not be deactivated by
   the operator and must be enabled and operating at all times the signal
   booster is in use.

   (A) Anti-Oscillation. Consumer boosters must be able to detect and
   mitigate (i.e., by automatic gain reduction or shut down), any
   oscillations in uplink and downlink bands. Oscillation detection and
   mitigation must occur automatically within 0.3 seconds in the uplink
   band and within 1 second in the downlink band. In cases where
   oscillation is detected, the booster must continue mitigation for at
   least one minute before restarting. After five such restarts, the
   booster must not resume operation until manually reset.

   (B) Gain Control. Consumer boosters must have automatic limiting
   control to protect against excessive input signals that would cause
   output power and emissions in excess of that authorized by the
   Commission.

   (C) Interference Avoidance for Wireless Subsystems. Consumer boosters
   using unlicensed (part 15) or other frequency bands for wireless
   transmissions between donor and server subsystems for its internal
   operations must employ interference avoidance methods to prevent
   interference transmitted into authorized CMRS spectrum bands.

   (10) Equivalent Protections. Consumer Signal Boosters which do not meet
   the technical specifications enumerated in paragraphs (e)(1) through
   (e)(9) of this section may also meet the Network Protection Standard if
   they provide equivalent protections as determined by the Wireless
   Telecommunications Bureau.

   (f) Signal booster labeling requirements. (1) Signal booster
   manufacturers, distributors, and retailers must ensure that all signal
   boosters marketed on or after March 1, 2014 include the following
   advisories:

   (i) In on-line, point-of-sale marketing materials,

   (ii) In any print or on-line owner's manual and installation
   instructions,

   (iii) On the outside packaging of the device, and

   (iv) On a label affixed to the device:

   (A) For Consumer Signal Boosters:

   (1) This is a CONSUMER device.

   BEFORE USE, you MUST REGISTER THIS DEVICE with your wireless provider
   and have your provider's consent. Most wireless providers consent to
   the use of signal 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.

   (2) The label for Consumer Signal Boosters certified for fixed indoor
   operation also must include the following language:

   This device may be operated ONLY in a fixed location for in-building
   use.

   (B) For Industrial Signal Boosters:

   WARNING. This is NOT a CONSUMER device. It is designed for installation
   by FCC LICENSEES and QUALIFIED INSTALLERS. You MUST have an FCC LICENSE
   or express consent of an FCC Licensee to operate this device.
   Unauthorized use may result in significant forfeiture penalties,
   including penalties in excess of $100,000 for each continuing
   violation.

   (2) A Consumer Signal Booster label may contain an acknowledgement that
   particular provider(s) have given their consent for all consumers to
   use the device. Such an acknowledgement would be inserted prior to,
   “Some wireless providers may not consent to the use of this device on
   their network. If you are unsure, contact your provider.” The remaining
   language of the advisory shall remain the same.

   (g) Marketing and sale of signal boosters. Except as provided in § 2.803
   of this chapter, no person, manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may
   market (as defined in § 2.803 of this chapter) any Consumer Signal
   Booster that does not comply with the requirements of this section to
   any person in the United States or to any person intending to operate
   the Consumer Signal Booster within the United States. Wideband Consumer
   Signal Boosters may only be sold to members of the general public for
   their personal use.

   (h) Registration. Each licensee consenting to the operation of a
   Consumer Signal Booster must establish a free registration mechanism
   for subscribers and register all Consumer Signal Boosters to which it
   consents. A licensee must establish a registration mechanism by the
   later of March 1, 2014 or within 90 days of consenting to the operation
   of a Consumer Signal Booster. At a minimum, a licensee must collect:

   (1) The name of the Consumer Signal Booster owner and/or operator, if
   different individuals;

   (2) The make, model, and serial number of the device;

   (3) The location of the device; and

   (4) The date of initial operation. Licensee consent is voluntary and
   may be withdrawn at the licensee's discretion.

   [ 78 FR 21559 , Apr. 11, 2013, as amended at  79 FR 70795 , Nov. 28, 2014;
    83 FR 17090 , Apr. 18, 2018]

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Goto Section: 20.20 | 20.22

Goto Year: 2018 | 2020
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