At800 Sends 28,000 Freeview 4G Filters To West London Residents

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Residents in Brentford and Isleworth are sent aerial filters to block out 4G at 800Mhz

Around 28,000 households in West London will receive aerial filters as part of ongoing tests to see to what extent 4G services at 800MHz will affect Freeview TV reception.

Residents in Brentford and Isleworth will be sent the filters ahead of the 29 April start date by at800, the joint-venture established by winners of 800MHz bandwidth in the recent Ofcom 4G spectrum auction, including O2, Vodafone, Three, EE and BT. Households that have not been notified by post are unlikely to be affected.

“This test will help us assess any problems viewers may have with fitting filters and whether receiving one in advance improves awareness and understanding of the potential issue,” said Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive of at800.

“We will have professional testing units and aerial installers in the area to help get Freeview services back to normal if they are affected by our test.”

Freeview 4G filters

at800 freeview 4g tv filterThe filters are smaller than a pack of cards, do not require a power supply and connect between an existing aerial cable or television or Freeview box. At800 promises that the filters will be easy to install, but those who are eligible for support can contact them for assistance.

Landlords or property managers of buildings with communal aerial systems where the antenna or aerial is not residents’ responsibility will be sent a communal filter on request.

DTT currently operates on the 700MHz spectrum, which could make it susceptible to interference when 4G services on the adjacent 800MHz airwaves go live later this year. EE, the UK’s only current 4G operator, uses 1800MHz bandwidth for its network, which does not impact DTT. However, all four major UK carriers won 800MHz spectrum in the recent Ofcom auction of 4G spectrum.

It has been suggested that up to 2.3 million households could suffer Freeview interference, although the first round of tests in the West Midlands resulted in only 15 reported cases of disruption out of 22,000 households.

All issues were in TV systems with signal amplifiers and were either in communal blocks or domestic installations where an amplifier was attached to the aerial and were solved by the installation of a filter.

Last week, at800 announced plans for larger scale tests in Southeast London which cover 170,000 households in Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets.

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