Telco Lobby ‘Urges’ Govt. To Stop Online Sale Of Mobile Signal Boosters; Is Amazon Responsible?

COAI or Cellular Operators’ Association of India, which represents almost every big telecom operator in India has ‘urged’ the Govt. to stop online sale of mobile signal boosters in India.

Interestingly, Amazon India has responded that they are not responsible for the sale, but the sellers are.

How will this matter be resolved now?


COAI To Govt.: Stop Sale Of Signal Boosters

COAI has approached Department of Telecom, and have requested them to put an end to sale on mobile signal boosters in the country. Earlier, they had approached the online retailers directly, and requested them to remove all listings of mobile signal boosters.

But that didn’t work..

COAI’s request for ‘cease and desist’ with e-commerce worked partially, as some of the online portals had removed the listings, but the major ones didn’t. As per COAI, “some are still selling it”.

Why COAI Wants To Stop The Sale Of Mobile Signal Boosters

As per the telecom operators, mobile signal boosters hamper the service quality for not only the service providers but also the customers.

Besides, the usage of mobile signal boosters is against the law as well.

Mobile signal booster, or technically Cellular repeater is a type of type of bi-directional amplifier, which is used to improve cellular reception. The system consists of donor antenna, which receives and transmits signals from nearby ‘cell towers, coaxial cables, a signal amplifier, and an indoor rebroadcast antenna.’. (Source)

Using Mobile Signal Boosters Are Against Law?

In their appeal to the Govt., COAI has mentioned Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) Wing’s directive of May 2016 on the sale of wireless sales and equipments.

As per the directive by WPC, in case of any sale of such equipment and tools via online medium and ecommerce portals, the responsibility lies with the sellers as well as the ecommerce portal.

A license is required to sell such telecom equipments, which is clearly not the case here.

In their letter, COAI said, “We therefore request DoT/WPC to kindly intervene in the matter and take up the issue of ban of sale of these illegal repeaters and boosters on the e-commerce websites/platforms with these e-commerce companies.”

Amazon Responds: We Are Not Responsible

Amazon has issued a statement, which basically puts the blame on the sellers and their listings.

In their statement, Amazon said, “Amazon operates an online marketplace in India. Sellers selling their products through the marketplace are solely responsible for all necessary product compliance and are required to sell products which are legally allowed to be sold in India.”

As we checked the listings of Amazon and Flipkart, we found several of listings of mobile signal boosters, on both of these platforms.

Hence, it is now clear that the issue of mobile signal boosters and their listings on ecommerce portals will be a long drawn battle.

We will keep you updated, as more details come in.

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