Globe, retailers to curb sale of signal boostersBy Daxim L. Lucas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Globe Telecom Inc. has struck a deal with major retailers of electronic gadgets and IT equipment to curb the sale of illegal repeaters and signal boosters, which are said to cause weaker mobile phone signals in some areas.
In a statement, Globe said that the agreement “binds” retailers from selling signal boosters that fail to comply with specifications of the National Telecommunications Commission, thereby causing mobile network interference.
From a consumer’s experience, “signal interference leads to dropped calls, garbled lines and weak signal,” the publicly listed firm said.
The retailers which have committed to discontinue the sale of illegal repeaters include the large CD-R King general merchandise chain, Electronics Boutique and Smile-Com.
According to Globe, these firms will also exclude any form of promotion, such as listings, brochures, labels, flyers, advertisements and other printed or digital paraphernalia about mobile signal boosters.
“We appreciate the cooperation of major retailers of gadgets and technology items in the country to support our drive against the use of illegal repeaters,” Globe legal chief Froilan Castelo said. “Many of the existing retailers previously have been unaware that the sale of such equipment violates existing laws.”
He cited NTC Memorandum Order 01-02-2013, which prohibits the sale, use and possession of signal boosters without the approval of the regulatory agency.
Illegal repeaters come in the form of indoor or outdoor antennas and wireless adapters, which boost network coverage and signal by hogging bandwidth from a legitimate network infrastructure.
The country’s second largest telecommunications firm launched the campaign against illegal repeaters or signal boosters in 2011 following the increase in the incidence of signal interference cases, as revealed by the company’s own network monitoring group.
The incidences of signal interference have since been reported regularly to the NTC.
Castelo also issued an appeal to Globe subscribers to immediately report to the company not only suspected cases of network interference due to illegal repeaters, but especially retailers that continue to sell such equipment.
Globe said it “continues to be vigilant” in improving the network experience of its subscribers, in light of its ongoing $700-million network modernization program.