Globe Telecom said it will step up its campaign this year to address the unscrupulous sale and use of illegal repeaters or signal boosters that cause network interference resulting in mobile phone subscribers to experience dropped calls, garbled lines, and weak signal.
“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. This is why the company is determined in addressing this issue by eliminating the sale and use of illegal repeaters and provide better customer experience,” said Atty. Froilan Castelo, Globe General Counsel and Head of Corporate and Legal Services Group.
The campaign against signal interference began in 2011 following growing evidence of proliferation of the use of illegal repeaters or signal boosters. Such illegal devices are not coordinated with mobile telecommunications providers or with government regulators. Illegal repeaters come in the form of indoor or outdoor antennas and wireless adapters which boost network signal by hogging bandwidth from a legitimate network infrastructure. As per monitoring by the company, cases of signal interference are being reported particularly in metropolitan areas of Manila, Cebu and Davao.
The proliferation of signal interference has, in fact, prompted the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to issue Memorandum Order 01-02-2013, prohibiting the sale, purchase, importation, possession or use of signal boosters operating on the 800 megahertz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz frequency bands without the approval of the regulatory agency. Violation could entail penalties and even imprisonment.
Globe Telecom’s drive against signal interference now includes the uncoordinated use of high-intensity radio frequency identification (RFID), a wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects., such as those used in upscale villages for security purposes.
Following unrelenting drive last year, the company uncovered and resolved 15 cases involving the use and sale of illegal repeaters or signal boosters. In these cases, the devices were confiscated by the NTC.