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4G Mobile Broadband at 800MHz Likely to Cause Fewer TV Problems

Thursday, Apr 4th, 2013 (8:39 pm) - Score 613

Fears that the new generation of superfast 4G (LTE) based Mobile Broadband services, specifically those operating in the new 800MHz radio spectrum band, could leave more than 2 million homes in the United Kingdom at risk of losing their Digital Terrestrial TV (Freeview) service could prove to be unfounded.

A recent pilot test of the new service by at800.tv (Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited), which was conducted in Cradley Heath and Rowley Regis (England’s West Midlands) with around 22,000 homes during late March 2013, found that just 15 households suffered reception problems (well below the official forecast of 120).

The problems were verified on-site by professional aerial installers, as well as TV signal experts from at800.tv, the BBC and Ofcom. Apparently “all” of the issues that could be attributed to 4G interference (at800.tv received a total of over 100 calls) stemmed from television systems with signal amplifiers (usually placed directly on the aerial) and were solved by installing a simple filter to block the 4G signals from reaching TV tuners.

Simon Beresford-Wylie, CEO of at800, said:

This was a useful, small-scale test. We’ll now improve our forecast model and look at the approach we use to tackle the issues we’ve seen. Further extensive evaluation will occur during April and May [2013] as masts are switched on for tests across larger urban areas.”

Plans for an urban-focused second test are expected to be announced “soon“, which is good because the first related 4G services are also due to begin surfacing between late spring and the end of this year. The news, if supported by the next batch of urban testing, could come as a welcome relief to mobile operators as it would mean that they will need to spend less on mitigating TV interference.

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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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