FCC Booster Registration FAQs

Signal boosters are devices that amplify wireless signals to improve coverage. Mobile voice and mobile broadband services are increasingly important to consumers and to our nation’s economy. Coverage gaps that exist within and at the edge of service areas can lead to dropped calls, reduced data speeds, or complete loss of service. Robust signal boosters can bridge these gaps and extend coverage to the fringe of service areas. Signal boosters can also improve public safety by enabling consumers to connect to 911 services in areas where wireless coverage is poor.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently adopted new rules for wireless signal boosters that go into full effect March 1, 2014. These new rules require consumers to: 1. Obtain their wireless carrier’s approval before operating a signal booster. 2. Register their devices with their wireless carrier. With these changes, U.S. Cellular® will now allow the use of FCC-certified consumer signal boosters on our network. A simple registration site has been set up on U.S. Cellular’s website to allow customers to register their devices:

  1. 1) I would like to buy a signal booster. What should I do?

    Most FCC-certified signal boosters will be available by April 30, 2014. U.S. Cellular is allowing the use of properly certified consumer signal boosters on its network, and therefore recommends waiting until the new boosters are available before making a purchase. For one of the new signal boosters to operate properly on the U.S. Cellular network, it must be FCC-certified and have labeling that instructs the consumer to register it before use. Look for a label like this: IMPORTANT: Not all FCC-certified signal boosters will work on the U.S. Cellular network. U.S. Cellular’s network operates on specific frequencies licensed by the FCC, and the signal booster must be compatible with those frequencies to enhance coverage. Since U.S. Cellular will not be selling consumer signal boosters at this time, it is the responsibility of the consumer to ensure that the booster is compatible with the U.S. Cellular network and to troubleshoot any operational issues directly with the booster manufacturer. Even so, any consumer wishing to register a purchased booster with U.S. Cellular can do so at the registration site.

  2. 2) I just purchased an FCC-certified signal booster. Do I need to do anything before I turn it on?

    Yes. You need to register your new signal booster online. Here is the path through the U.S. Cellular website: Registering your booster is important to ensure you are in compliance with the new FCC rules and it allows U.S. Cellular to locate problematic boosters in the event of interference, so that we can maintain our network’s reliability.

  3. 3) Will it cost me anything to register my booster?

    No. There is no fee to register or use a signal booster.

  4. 4) Does U.S. Cellular sell these devices?

    No. U.S. Cellular does not sell consumer signal boosters at this time.

  5. 5) I see two booster installation types on the registration site—which do I choose?

    The two booster installation types—called “fixed” and “mobile”—depend on where the booster will be operated. If you plan to use your booster in your home, office or other stationary location, then choose “fixed”. If you plan to use it in a moving vehicle like a car, boat or recreational vehicle, then choose “mobile”.

  6. 6) What kind of information do I need to complete my device registration?

    The following information will be required for the registration:
    - Name of booster owner and/or operator (include both if different individuals)
    - U.S. Cellular wireless telephone number
    - Booster location address (where it will be operated)
    - Date of booster’s initial operation
    - Booster manufacturer, model number, serial number and FCC ID label

  7. 7) 7. What is done with the information that is collected?

    The new FCC rules prohibit signal booster users from causing interference to wireless networks, so the registration information is used in case interference is detected. You may be contacted by U.S. Cellular or the FCC in case interference issues are seen and in extreme cases, you may be asked to turn off the booster.

  8. 8) I operate more than one booster. Do I have to register each one?

    Yes. U.S. Cellular requires that you register each booster that is operated on the network.

  9. 9) I moved my booster to a different location. Do I have to inform U.S. Cellular?

    Yes. You need to re-register the booster on the registration site. The date of operation will be a key indicator used to determine the most recent location.

  10. 10) Can I purchase and use a signal booster with an "Industrial Use" label?

    No. The FCC has established special rules for Consumer Signal Boosters to make sure they are simple to install and use, and don’t interfere with wireless networks. U.S. Cellular customers can only purchase and install signal boosters that are designated for consumer use. "Industrial Use" boosters require an FCC license and special installation, and unauthorized use of these boosters could result in severe penalties.