The Union government, on Monday, warned e-commerce platforms against illegally selling wireless mobile jammers online. It termed the use of cellular signal jammer, GPS blocker or other signal jamming device, illegal unless specifically permitted by the government.
“Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications, on 1st July, 2022 issued an advisory to the general public on the proper use of Wireless jammer and booster/ repeaters,” a statement of the Ministry of Communications said.
Alarmed at its open online sale, the department warned all e-commerce companies from selling or facilitating the sale of wireless jammers on their online platforms, stressing that private sector organisations or individuals cannot procure and use jammers in India.
The DoT said the use of cellular signal jammers, GPS blocker or other signal jamming devices is generally illegal, alerting the general public on the proper use of wireless jammers and booster/repeaters.
“It has also been stated that it is unlawful to advertise, sell, distribute, import or otherwise market signal jamming devices in India, except as permitted under the guidelines,” said the DoT.
With regard to signal booster/repeater, the department said it is unlawful to possess, sale or use mobile signal repeater/booster by any individual other than the licensed telecom service providers.
“Earlier, vide Notice dated 21 January, 2022, the DoT warned all e-commerce companies from selling or facilitating the sale of wireless jammers on their online platforms,” the statement said.
A mobile signal booster/repeater is a kind of amplifier, apparently used to improve cell phone signal reception.
However, unauthorised use of mobile phone boosters can adversely interfere with, disrupt public telecommunication services by jeopardising the quality and coverage of such services, the department said.
“This not only causes inconvenience to mobile phone users but can also hamper access to emergency call services from mobile phones, which creates a risk to public health and safety,” said the DoT advisory.
Lt Gen Dr SP Kochhar, Director General of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said that citizens are unaware that buying, selling, installation and possession of Mobile Signal Boosters (MSBs) is an illegal and punishable offence under Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 and India Telegraph Act, 1885.
“Its unauthorised use adversely interferes with telecom services and we are glad that the Government of India has recognised its significance in delivering a flawless network and telecom experience to citizens across the country,” Kochhar said in a statement.
This advisory will help spread awareness and make citizens cognisant of the debilitating effects that repeaters have on the overall network, he added.