About three years ago, mobile phone repeaters that met certain technical requirements were made legal in Ireland. ComReg issued a list of manufacturers whose products would meet these requirements. The manufacturers are:
- Stella Doradus
Here is a link to ComReg’s list: https://www.comreg.ie/media/2018/10/Manufacturers-List.pdf
There are many companies listed on Google pretending to be legal. They claim to be “Comreg approved”. However, these low cost repeaters shipped in from China (usually Hong Kong), are disastrous for all mobile networks in Ireland. They have no “network protections” built into them and when installed, regularly “oscillate”. These oscillations can reach the local base station tower, and knock out service for everybody in the area. Every year ComReg tracks down these offending repeaters at the request of the operators, whose towers are being affected. Recently I was asked by the mobile phone operator “Three” to replace an oscillating mobile repeater in Gorey with a Stelladoradus repeater. This repeater was oscillating and wiping out the local Three tower. Everybody in the area had reduced mobile coverage as a result, and sometimes no coverage at all. The repeater in question was from mobilerepeater.com, whose repeaters are all illegal here in Ireland and across the EU. Engineers at Stella Doradus buy these repeaters to test in the lab, when they appear on the EU market. We find that all these repeaters have no protections built into them. They all have the potential to “drown out” nearby base stations when installed. ComReg spends a lot of time and effort tracking down and confiscating these repeaters every year. Since these repeaters are mostly coming in from outside the EU, duties and taxes need to be paid at customs. Many of the repeaters get stopped and checked at customs. When the package is found to be a repeater, it is confiscated, and a warning letter goes out to the purchaser.
Websites that appear prominent on Google, claiming to be “comreg approved” but are in actual fact completely illegal are:
- www.irelandboosters.com (products sourced in China)
- www.mobilerepeater.ie (products sourced in China)
- www.myamplifiers.com (products sourced in China)
- www.hiboost.eu (products sourced in China)
We will add to this list if more sites appear in the future. It is difficult to sue these companies due to the fact that they are not based here in Europe. Instead, ComReg have created a list of manufacturers that make repeaters that are legal to use in Ireland. The regulator in Switzerland has also produced a list of these illegal repeaters: Here is their list: https://nkgdb.ofcomnet.ch/en https://www.bakom.admin.ch/bakom/en/homepage/equipments-and-installations/non-compliant-equipment/verstaerker.html Very shortly we will be be creating a similar comprehensive list for Ireland so that customers will not be fooled by these website claiming to be “ComReg approved”.
Installing legal repeaters here in Ireland
If you are looking for a reputable installation company here in Ireland to install repeaters, Stella Doradus recommends the following: Novatel https://www.novatel.ie/
About the author.
Ferd is the research and development director of Stella Doradus, a manufacturing company located in southern Ireland, that designs and manufactures repeaters for the European market. Ferd graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2002 with a bachelors degree in computer engineering. Since then he has continued learning and working in the field of electronics and programming, gaining experience in analysis, design and development, testing and implementation of various internet-based applications and becoming an expert in a variety of platforms, languages, and embedded systems.