4G rollout to cause 2m Freeview blackouts
By Dave Stevenson
Posted on 11 Feb 2013 at 16:26
4G could interfere with Freeview signals for 2.3 million households, requiring £180m to be spent on filters to solve the problem, according to Ofcom.
800MHz 4G signals will use an area of broadcast spectrum recently vacated by the defunct terrestrial TV signal, and could cause interference with some Freeview channels operating in a similar part of the spectrum.
Ofcom estimates around 2.3 million households could be affected, with 40% of those using Freeview as their only source of broadcast television.
There are going to be a very, very small minority where a filter doesn't work
The good news for consumers is the minority who experience problems can expect Ofcom to fix them, with the ombudsman reserving up to £180 million from the auction of LTE frequencies to fund the roll out of signal-saving filters.
Ofcom has estimated that around 1% of viewers won’t have their problems solved by a filter and will be offered an alternative platform such as Freesat. Of that 1%, up to a further 1,000 families will be left with no broadcast television at all.
"There are going to be a very, very small minority where [a filter] doesn't work," a spokesperson told PC Pro, adding that up to £10,000 has been allocated per household left to re-equip households left with no TV services whatsoever.
Residents of south Wales were forced to retune their Freeview boxes in January, as certain Freeview channels changed their frequencies to free capacity for LTE services.
Most of the problems will be addressed before the wider 4G roll out starts, said Simon Beresford-Wylie, CEO of Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited, a non-profit organisation that will oversee the rollout of LTE services when winners of the spectrum auction are announced next month. "DMSL plans to pre-empt the majority of potential interference issues caused by 4G at 800MHz," he said.
LTE services will run at 800Mhz and 2.6GHz in the UK - of these only the lower frequency will be prone to interfering with Freeview’s signal.
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office