After years of technology and industry development, the booster market has finally come of age. The watershed moment in the US has been the FCC regulation guiding the use of consumer boosters on licensed spectrum, which comes into effect on April 30. With that, you can expect to see a lot of changes in the competitive landscape in the months to come. As the compliance realities associated with the regulations manifest, a good number of smaller players will find themselves under increasing pressure and may even exit the market. Incumbents have already begun jockeying for position, and overall market consolidation is a safe if not obvious assumption.
That’s not a bad thing. Until now, the booster market has been highly fragmented, barely regulated, and rife with ill-conceived, bargain basement product offerings. But once a technology hits its stride, and regulatory forces establish performance guidelines, a shakeout is an inevitability. What that ultimately means is consumers can gain comfort in having better choices, industry-compliant product offerings and solid support.
The whole FCC edict is the first time any guidelines have been enforced on both wideband and provider-specific boosters. These ensure that boosters approved for sale in the market will meet specific criteria, including no interference with carrier signals. This finally means that boosters can stand on their own as a bona fide, carrier-endorsed product category.
There’s one other outcome from all this. All this regulatory activity is a strong endorsement that booster technology has a legitimate, if not essential, place in the cellular world. Carriers and regulators have now recognized that despite massive capex investment in cellular infrastructure, getting signals to every nook and cranny of an indoor location is simply not achievable without help from booster technology.
But here’s the best news for us. While the broadband category has a number of players, Cel-Fi is the only provider-specific smart signal booster that has made the FCC grade. As such, we’re the only booster that has been blessed with the ability to have 100 dB gain (wideband boosters are capped at 70 and 72 dB).
Getting to this point in the booster market was certainly not a one-company effort. It took a lot of collaborative work between the major booster players, regulatory bodies, and carriers – but ultimately booster technology is now competing on a fair playing field. And carriers and their customers are the ones that will reap the rewards.
Compliance is very often a necessary reality. Do you think that compliance within the signal booster context represents any disadvantages for users?
By the Cel-Fi Team