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Friday, June 14, 2024

WMO and operators confiscate smuggled mobile signal boosters in Mumbai

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In Short:

The Wireless Monitoring Organisation (WMO) and telecom operators raided the Grant Road area in Mumbai, seizing illegal mobile signal boosters and antennas. The seized devices were causing interference, leading to call drops and slow data speeds. WMO issued notices on the spot and warned of heavy penalties under the Telecommunications Act for possessing unauthorized radio equipment. DoT has warned e-commerce platforms to stop selling illegal devices.

WMO and Operators Seize Illegal Mobile Network Boosters in Mumbai

Wireless Monitoring Organisation (WMO) and Telecom Operators Conduct Raid in Mumbai

In a recent operation, the Wireless Monitoring Organisation (WMO) along with telecom operators conducted a raid in Mumbai to crack down on illegal mobile signal boosters and antennas. The raid was led by Engineer P D Shinde from WMS (DoT) and resulted in the seizure of eight antennas and five network boosters from Gomtesh Electronics on Procter Road (East), as confirmed by WMO.

Seizure of Illegal Devices

Several illegal boosters were also discovered and dismantled at various locations, including Mahadev Forex, Sashikrupa Building, Simplex Building, Gupta Transport, Shri Ishwar Sadan, Crescent Building, and Lucas Asger Manzil. WMO issued on-the-spot notices to individuals found using these illegal devices.

Impact on Network Quality

Telecom operators have repeatedly raised concerns regarding the negative impact of such illegal devices on mobile network quality. WMO highlighted that these boosters cause severe interference, resulting in issues like call drops and slow data speeds. The use of wideband signal boosters is deemed illegal under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1943, attracting heavy penalties.

WMO explained, “The use of mobile signal boosters is comparable to having an illegal electricity or water supply connection. Telecom operators invest significantly in acquiring spectrum to enhance customer experience, but the presence of these boosters compromises the quality of services.”

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued warnings to e-commerce platforms to stop selling these illegal items, as per the official release.

Legal Implications

According to the Telecommunications Act, 2023, unauthorized possession of radio equipment can lead to imprisonment for up to three years, fines of up to fifty lakh rupees, or both. This includes possessing or using unauthorized telecommunication equipment, tampering with identifiers, and obtaining identifiers through fraudulent means.

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