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Happy Birthday Ofcom – a brief history …

Happy birthday Ofcom

Well, it’s official – Ofcom is legally an adult.

Yep, the Office of Communications celebrates its 18th birthday on 29th December 2021.

After all, we’ve been waiting all year for the festive season to arrive, so we don’t need much excuse to celebrate at this point.

Ofcom was founded in 2003 and has a wide range of powers across the television, radio, postal and telecommunications sectors.

Some of the areas they preside over include licensing, research, policies, complaints, and competition. 


Ofcom turns 18 on December 29th!

So, what do the Ofcom regulations mean for Cel-Fi?

A couple of years ago, Ofcom relaxed the rules surrounding mobile repeaters, which was a big moment for your mobile phone signal…

Long story short, phone signal can be pretty naff sometimes.

Especially in modern buildings.

That’s because of a combination of materials used in construction and complex architecture. Materials such as iron, steel, modern glass, reinforced concrete, and foil-lined partitions affect how well radio signals can penetrate the building…

And you’ve probably guessed this bit, but high-frequency radio signals like 4G are particularly susceptible to these issues.

The reality is that when Ofcom was founded in 2003, 70% of households owned a mobile phone – but those phones were primarily used for text messages and phone calls.

Today, 95% of UK adults own a mobile phone, and those phones rely on 4G and 5G signal for messaging, email, browsing, social media, and communications. 

As a result, there’s a much higher demand for high-quality access to mobile data services – which exacerbates signal problems. 


So, what made Ofcom change the rules around mobile signal boosters?

To give you some context, a mobile signal booster or repeater takes an existing outdoor signal and amplifies it within an indoor space. So, if you’ve got mobile signal outside but it dips out as soon as you walk through the door, then it’ll improve your service and keep you talking!

Ofcom realised that the laws that existed around mobile signal boosters were outdated.

The investment in 3G, 4G, and subsequently 5G technology and the targets for 95% coverage in the UK meant that coverage inside buildings came under the spotlight.

A significant ruling in the US around mobile coverage in 2017 also swayed their decision.


How can I be sure that I won’t experience any issues with a mobile signal booster?

There’s obvious safety and reliability concerns when a ruling changes, and this is no exception. The reality is that you need to find a reliable, trustworthy provider to ensure you’re meeting your legal obligations AND to keep you safe.

That’s why we ONLY use Cel-Fi boosters that comply with Ofcom’s regulations.

In fact, they’re the only type of signal booster that complies with EVERY aspect of the rules.

It’s worth noting that Ofcom won’t officially endorse any specific products, but they do identify devices that have been thoroughly tested and that meet their technical requirements.

If you’ve got any questions about mobile signal boosters, or you just want to find out a bit more, give us a call on 020 3823 7365 or drop us an email at

Michelle Lenan
Michelle Lenan
Apart from officially being the most enthusiastic member of the Signal Solutions team, Michelle plays a key role in our mission to fix the UK's mobile signal problem. She spends her days creating blog posts and spreading the word across our social media platforms.