One of the most common questions we get asked is whether we sell a repeater that can be legally used in Australia on the Telstra/Optus/Vodafone networks. Many are alarmed to hear that all amplifiers and boosters (excepting one) are strictly banned for all states and territories in Australia!
You can find out more about why they are strictly banned in our Guide to Mobile Phone Repeaters.
It sounds to me like you've stumbled upon mobilerepeatersaustralia.com who are all too quick to tell you that you can use their repeaters in Australia and that they're completely legal. They might even tell you that their products have hardware to protect against interfering with the phone network. With pricing as low as $235, increasing indoor mobile phone service with their repeater sounds quick ,easy and unbelievably cheap. Too good to be true!
The problem is - they're not telling the truth.
Those operating mobilerepeateraustralia.com are breaking several Australian consumer laws, by intentionally misleading purchasers into breaching the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (which potentially carries a two year jail term) - criminal law.
We have absolutely no qualms naming and shaming because this website is an enterprise based overseas, with no Australian presence or representation - despite appearing to have an Australian address and NSW phone number.
Like any fraudulent/suspicious website there are many warning signs:
1. The domain does not end in the .com.au extension - to apply for a website ending in .com.au the applicant must be a registered Australian business, holding an ABN number.
2. Your connection is not encrypted - during checkout any business who respects the confidentiality and security of their customers sensitive details (most importantly your credit card details) will go through the process of having an identity certificate issued by a respected Certificate Authority. In fact, this is a mandatory requirement by VISA/Mastercard.
3. They have no physical address. A quick Google Street View of the address listed on their website reveals that the business has a "virtual mailbox" - similar to a PO Box, but with the appearance of a street address.
4. Their phone number has been spoofed. They use a VoIP call forwarding service like mvoice to obtain a spoofed Australian phone number.
Thankfully Telstra and Optus have approved the operation of the Cel-Fi RS2 Smart Repeater on their network. This is a very special unit that operates differently to its illegal counterparts - the system comprises of two separate units;
This is the primary receiver and transmitter - it simply receives and transmits at the power of a normal mobile phone, no amplification whatsoever. Yes, this means those of us in low signal areas will still need to connect it to an external antenna via the small gold SMA Female connector underneath. It then communicates this signal wirelessly to the second 'Coverage' unit.
When placed deep within the house or office where signal is weakest, this unit will receive the mobile phone signal (over the 5GHz band) from the Window Unit and rebroadcast it at full strength throughout the house. This special two-hop system allows the mobile phones to pick up and transmit the signal at full strength, without the system actually broadcasting any louder to the outside world - ie. without jamming your neighbours or overloading the cell tower.
You can purchase the Smart Repeater system for Telstra Next-G or Optus here .