Goto Section: 90.217 | 90.221 | Table of Contents
Revised as of October 1, 2019
Goto Year:2018 |
§ 90.219 Use of signal boosters.
This section contains technical and operational rules allowing the use
of signal boosters in the Private Land Mobile Radio Services (PLMRS).
Rules for signal booster operation in the Commercial Mobile Radio
Services under part 90 are found in § 20.21 of this chapter.
(a) Definitions. The definitions in this paragraph apply only to the
rules in this section.
Class A signal booster. A signal booster designed to retransmit signals
on one or more specific channels. A signal booster is deemed to be a
Class A signal booster if none of its passbands exceed 75 kHz.
Class B signal booster. A signal booster designed to retransmit any
signals within a wide frequency band. A signal booster is deemed to be
a Class B signal booster if it has a passband that exceeds 75 kHz.
Coverage area of a PLMRS station. All locations within the normal
reliable operating range (service contour) of a PLMRS station.
Deploy a signal booster. Install and/or initially adjust a signal
Distributed Antenna System (DAS). A network of spatially separated
antenna nodes connected to a common source via a transport medium that
provides wireless service within a geographic area or structure.
Operate a signal booster. Maintain operational control over, and
responsibility for the proper functioning of, a signal booster.
Signal booster. A device or system that automatically receives,
amplifies, and retransmits signals from wireless stations into and out
of building interiors, tunnels, shielded outdoor areas and other
locations where these signals would otherwise be too weak for reliable
communications. Signal booster systems may contain both Class A and
Class B signal boosters as components.
(b) Authority to operate. PLMRS licensees for stations operating on
assigned channels higher than 150 MHz may operate signal boosters,
limited to the service band for which they are authorized, as needed
anywhere within the PLMRS stations' service contour, but may not extend
the stations' service contour.
(1) PLMRS licensees may also consent to operation of signal boosters by
non-licensees (such as a building owner or a signal booster
installation contractor) within their service contour and across their
applicable frequencies, but must maintain a reasonable level of control
over these operations in order to resolve interference problems.
(i) Non-licensees seeking to operate signal boosters must obtain the
express consent of the licensee(s) of the frequencies for which the
device or system is intended to amplify. The consent must be maintained
in a recordable format that can be presented to an FCC representative
or other relevant licensee investigating interference.
(ii) Consent is not required from third party (unintended) licensees
whose signals are incidentally retransmitted. However, signal booster
operation is on a non-interference basis and operations may be required
to cease or alter the operating parameters due to a request from an FCC
representative or a licensee's request to resolve interference.
(c) Licensee responsibility; interference. PLMRS licensees that operate
signal boosters are responsible for their proper operation, and are
responsible for correcting any harmful interference that signal booster
operation may cause to other licensed communications services. Normal
co-channel transmissions are not considered to be harmful interference.
Licensees are required to resolve interference problems pursuant to
§ 90.173(b). Licensees shall act in good faith regarding the operation
of signal boosters and in the resolution of interference due to signal
booster operation. Licensees who are unable to determine the location
or cause of signal booster interference may seek assistance from the
FCC to resolve such problems.
(d) Deployment rules. Deployment of signal boosters must be carried
out in accordance with the rules in this paragraph.
(1) Signal boosters may be used to improve coverage in weak signal
(2) Signal boosters must not be used to extend PLMRS stations' normal
(3)(i) Except as set forth in paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section,
signal boosters must be deployed such that the radiated power of each
retransmitted channel, on the forward link and on the reverse link,
does not exceed 5 Watts effective radiated power (ERP).
(ii) Railroad licensees may operate Class A signal boosters
transmitting on a single channel with up to 30 Watts ERP on frequencies
452/457.9000 to 452/457.96875 MHz in areas where communication between
the front and rear of trains is unsatisfactory due to distance or
intervening terrain barriers.
(4) Class B signal boosters may be deployed only at fixed locations;
mobile operation of Class B signal boosters is prohibited after
November 1, 2014.
(5) Class B signal booster installations must be registered in the FCC
signal booster database that can be accessed at the following URL:
(6) Good engineering practice must be used in regard to the radiation
of intermodulation products and noise, such that interference to
licensed communications systems is avoided. In the event of harmful
interference caused by any given deployment, the FCC may require
additional attenuation or filtering of the emissions and/or noise from
signal boosters or signal booster systems, as necessary to eliminate
(i) In general, the ERP of intermodulation products should not exceed
−30 dBm in 10 kHz measurement bandwidth.
(ii) In general, the ERP of noise within the passband should not
exceed −43 dBm in 10 kHz measurement bandwidth.
(iii) In general, the ERP of noise on spectrum more than 1 MHz outside
of the passband should not exceed −70 dBm in a 10 kHz measurement
(7) Signal booster passbands are limited to the service band or bands
for which the operator is authorized. In general, signal boosters
should utilize the minimum passband that is sufficient to accomplish
the purpose. Except for distributed antenna systems (DAS) installed in
buildings, the passband of a Class B booster should not encompass both
commercial services (such as ESMR and Cellular Radiotelephone) and part
90 Land Mobile and Public Safety Services.
(e) Device Specifications. In addition to the general rules for
equipment certification in § 90.203(a)(2) and part 2, subpart J of this
chapter, a signal booster must also meet the rules in this paragraph.
(1) The output power capability of a signal booster must be designed
for deployments providing a radiated power not exceeding 5 Watts ERP
for each retransmitted channel.
(2) The noise figure of a signal booster must not exceed 9 dB in
(3) Spurious emissions from a signal booster must not exceed −13 dBm
within any 100 kHz measurement bandwidth.
(4) A signal booster must be designed such that all signals that it
retransmits meet the following requirements:
(i) The signals are retransmitted on the same channels as received.
Minor departures from the exact provider or reference frequencies of
the input signals are allowed, provided that the retransmitted signals
meet the requirements of § 90.213.
(ii) There is no change in the occupied bandwidth of the retransmitted
(iii) The retransmitted signals continue to meet the unwanted
emissions limits of § 90.210 applicable to the corresponding received
signals (assuming that these received signals meet the applicable
unwanted emissions limits by a reasonable margin).
(5) On or after March 1, 2014, a signal booster must be labeled to
indicate whether it is a Class A or Class B device, and the label must
include the following advisory
(1) In on-line point-of-sale marketing materials,
(2) In any print or on-line owner's manual and installation
(3) On the outside packaging of the device, and
(4) On a label affixed to the device:
“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. You MUST register Class B signal boosters (as defined in 47 CFR
90.219) online at www.fcc.gov/signal-boosters/registration.
Unauthorized use may result in significant forfeiture penalties,
including penalties in excess of $100,000 for each continuing
[ 78 FR 21564 , Apr. 12, 2013, as amended at 83 FR 61097 , Nov. 27, 2018]
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Goto Section: 90.217 | 90.221
Goto Year: 2018 |
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