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Filtronic UK Win GBP14m Contract to Tackle Freeview TV Woes from 4G

Monday, January 28th, 2013 (2:02 pm) - Score 1,863

Filtronic, which produces microwave and millimetre-wave products for telecom firms, has signed a new contract to build “mitigation products” that will be used to help some of the 2.3 million UK homes that could suffer from a loss of Digital TV (Freeview) when the new 4G based Mobile Broadband services go live in the 800MHz band.

Sadly the 800MHz band, which was previously used for analogue TV and is currently being auctioned to mobile phone operators, sits right next to the current 700MHz based Digital TV services and some interference is anticipated (the first 800MHz / LTE networks should start to go live towards the end of spring 2013).

As a result the government has already setup a new company called Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (formerly MitCo), which will use a pot of £180m collected from Mobile Network Operators (MNO) to help the 900,000 or so homes that are “likely to rely” on digital terrestrial TV services “for their primary viewing“ (the rest will have to find an alternative on their own).

It’s understood that part of this fund will go towards the supply of special filters for eligible households, which are designed to remove the 4G interference from your TV service. Some of the filters will be attached to the TV receiver in your living room, while others may require an engineer visit to install one on your rooftop aerial.

Filtronic’s Trading Statement:

[Filtronic] Wireless has recently received orders in excess of £14m for the supply of large quantities of LTE/4G interference mitigation filters that prevent 4G services interfering with domestic television receivers in Europe.

Subject to a demanding production schedule, shipments for the initial phase of this product will be largely completed by the middle of calendar 2013, straddling the group’s financial year end. There are prospects for follow-on business after this initial surge. Wireless is also at an early stage of developing opportunities for a similar product in other European markets.

Filtronic has plenty of experience with building such products for the overseas market and indeed the new deal is expected to give the business a big boost over the next year, with more deals expected to be signed in due course. Everybody else will just be hoping that Filtronic’s new filters do the trick.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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