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Globe warns vs illegal signal boosters interfering with telecoms services

TELCO: POSSESSION, USE OF ILLEGAL TRANSMITTERS, REPEATERS, RFIDs VIOLATES LAW
/ 04:22 PM December 12, 2017

Globe Telecom has warned the public against the use of illegal signal transmitters to boost wireless coverage in a certain area, saying these activities cause widespread interference to communications services.

The telco giant said in a statement on Tuesday that it detected mobile service interference in 1,200 of its cell sites – about 15 percent of its more than 8,000 cell sites. It said 60 percent of the affected areas are in Metro Manila.

Globe, which has drawn criticism alongside PLDT Inc. for the quality of their mobile services,  said this was partly due to signal boosters, repeaters, and RFIDs (radio frequency identification), commonly used for car parking or security systems in subdivisions, toll ways, as well as in residential, office, and commercial buildings.

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According to Globe, this type of interference leads to dropped calls, garbled lines, weak signal, and slow browsing.

”While illegal signal boosters may enhance wireless coverage in a particular area, such devices, when improperly designed or installed, will cause interference with mobile networks and thus will impede communication services, including emergency calls in the community,” Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo said in a statement.

“Thus, the illegal use of such devices does not solve signal issues but rather lead to service degradation of telecommunication companies. On the other hand, RFIDs should not pose a problem for as long as these are operating outside of the cellular frequency bands and only in RFID bands allocated by NTC,” he added.

Globe said it had located and closed down 120 illegal repeaters and RFID systems. It said these were found within the cellular frequency bands, and outside the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) allocated frequency band for RFID.

“This however appears to be just the tip of the iceberg as only less than 10 percent of the sites affected where actually cleared of interference.  The number of illegal repeaters and RFID systems appear to be increasing as well,” Globe noted.

Castelo said Globe was working with the NTC to address the issue.

The unauthorized possession and use of repeaters is illegal and punishable by law. Castelo said the NTC, together with police authorities, would apprehend entities in possession of these illegal repeaters.

Compared to 2016, there was an 85 percent increase in sites with signal interference in 2017. Globe said this was due to the “uncontrolled proliferation of repeaters and increasing use of RFID mostly in high-end residential areas and buildings.”

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The company said it filed before the NTC at least 30 separate cases of signal interference caused by illegal signal transmitters.

NTC has already confirmed that at least seven of such cases were instances of signal interference.

Confirmed cases of signal interference were identified to be in a broadcast company, specific hotels and homes in exclusive villages, Globe noted in its statement.      /kga

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TAGS: boosters, Globe, NTC, repeaters, RFID, signal interference, Telecommunications
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