In the West Midlands, phone at800 if 4G eats your Freeview
Tests have started on whether 4G mobile services due to start later this year on will interfere with Freeview TV broadcasts. A newly-formed body has turned on 800MHz transmitters and opened a telephone helpline for consumers who are affected.
Using the brand “at800” Digital Mobile Spectrum Litd, (DMSL) has switched on temporary transmitters at Cradley Heath and Rowley Regis near Dudley, West of Birmingham, set up a website at800.tv and opened phone lines for anyone affected. The government has estimated that when full-scale 4G services at 800MHz start, up to 900,000 people may need to be given filters which clean up their TV signals and allow them to continue watching digital terrestrial television (DTT), which broadcasts at frequencies between 470 and 850MHz.
4G tests needed
DMSL was set up by to promote 4G services, with £180 million collected from mobile operators, and announced its plan of campaign in February when it appointed Simon Beresford-Wylie (formerly of Nokia Siemens Networks) as chief executive.
The interference is only caused by the 800MHz spectrum auctioned earlier this month, and not by the 4G services already on offer from EE, which are being delivered on existing phone mobile spectrum.
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey has promised that every household in the country Ofcom estimates that about 900,000 homes could be affected, though some early suggestions said the figure could be as high as 2.3 million.
The West Midlands at800 test is designed to see the real impact of the new services. In most cases, any interference can be fixed by fitting a digital filter between the antenna and the Freeview decoder, to block the 4G signals.
Anyone affected, can call 0333 31 31 800.
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