The Department of Telecom (DoT), with the support of relevant authorities and mobile operators conducted inspection drives in South Mumbai to eliminate the use of illegal mobile signal boosters. The usage of illegal signal boosters has been rampant in the city leading to network issues and customer complaints. Over the coming days, the authorities plan to extend the drive to other locations in the city.

The drive was conducted on December 22 and 23, across residential and commercial establishments in LT Marg, Masjid Bunder, Bhoiwada, Zaveri Bazar, Kolsa Street, Nagdevi Street, Abdul Rahman Steet, Narayan Dhuru Street& Sarang Street. 68 illegal repeaters were removed, wire joints were cut down giving feed to 50 illegal antennas and 29 notices were given to remove the identified ones with immediate effect. Similar raids have been conducted in different cities covering multiple places like Delhi, Agra, Mathura, etc across residential and commercial establishments.

“Our department has taken a very serious view on installation of Illegal repeaters as it has become a major obstruction in providing quality telecom services & clean spectrum. The practice of using mobile signal boosters is the same as having illegal water connection from the main supply line, leading to shortage for all others,” said IES Amit Gautam, wireless monitoring organisation, DoT.

He further added that online platforms have also been issued notices to remove listing of such illegal repeaters from their website and such companies have responded positively.

According to Wireless Monitoring Organisation (WMO) of DoT, installation, possession or selling of illegal repeater is punishable offence as per Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 and Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.

Illegal Repeaters have become a major nuisance and are one of the biggest reasons for customers facing network issues like call drops and low data speeds. These illegal repeaters are installed by individuals/establishments at homes/offices/PG/Guest houses to boost mobile signals. These illegal equipment interfere with all mobile networks, impacts signal quality, and degrades network experience in the entire area.

“Mobile operators invest heavily in acquisition of spectrum and network rollout to enhance customer experience however the illegal booster causes interference with the mobile network. Authorities were called to crack down on these installations and take strict action,” said DoT in a statement.

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