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By: MarkJ - 21 February, 2012 (3:13 PM)
uk mobile broadband 800mhz tv interference4g uk mobile broadbandThe governments Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, has today announced a new £180 Million fund to help the 3% of UK homes (760,000 households) that could find themselves being unable to view Digital Terrestrial Television (DTTV) as a result of interference from the new generation of 4G superfast Mobile Broadband services.

At present the 800MHz (790-862MHz) radio spectrum band is currently being used for old analogue television (TV) services, although by the end of 2013 it will have been re-purposed for use by a new generation of LTE (4G) based mobile internet connectivity.

Unfortunately many existing DTT receivers and aerials were designed to receive signals across the UHF Bands IV and V (470-862MHz), including the whole of the 800MHz band, which is likely to cause interference.

Mr Vaizey said:

"More and more of us are using smartphones and tablets to access the Internet. Releasing more spectrum is essential to enable industry to meet this growing demand.

Next generation mobile services are essential for economic growth. They will bring an estimated benefit of £2-3 billion to the UK economy.

There will be some interference when 4G services are rolled-out but we will have the solutions in place to eliminate the disruption to television viewers."

The money will apparently come from mobile operators that bid for the spectrum as part of Ofcom's related 4G auction in Q4-2012. Some homes could be given up to £10k to help them find a solution, although that's likely to be extremely rare.

In most cases the money will go towards covering the cost of a special filter, switching to a different TV platform or changing aerial. Ofcom will shortly begin a new consultation on how best to implement the scheme. Extra support to fit the filters will be available to the over 75s and people who are registered disabled.

UPDATE 22nd Feb 2012

Added the full quote from DCMS's official press release.

UPDATE 23rd Feb 2012

Ofcom has open the related consultation here. It's open until 19th April 2012.
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