4G will disrupt Freeview TV in fewer homes than expected

In a trial of 22,000 households in the West Midlands, just 15 suffered issues with their TV reception once a 4G network was deployed.

Fears have been allayed over whether the 4G networks that'll launch this summer will interfere with Freeview telly signals.

A trial conducted by at800 found that a makeshift 4G network using the 800MHz band only affected Freeview reception in 15 out of the 22,000 homes surveyed, The Register reports. at800 originally predicted 120 households would experience problems. Those that did have trouble were remedied quickly with a cheap filter.

The trial was held in Cradley Heath and Rowley Regis, near Dudley.

When operators join EE in rolling our their 4G networks this summer, they'll need to use the 800MHz band, which is the same as Freeview (EE uses the 1,800MHz). Hence concern that your viewing would be interrupted because someone upstairs is browsing on their blower. Campaigners claimed up to 2 million households could be affected.

The operators chucked £180 million at the problem, but will get that back, seeing as it looks like at800 will have nothing to spend it on. Unless it throws a massive party.

All 15 homes that had reception issues featured a signal booster. The filters that come to the rescue have to be fitted between the aerial and the booster -- easy-peasy if the booster is near the back of the TV, but a pain in the backside if it's on top of a tower block, serving a lot of flats. So some households could still have issues.

Bigger trials are needed for a better grasp of the problem, but for the moment it looks like the vast majority of us will be able to watch telly while browsing the Web at super-fast speeds.

Do you think your Freeview will be affected by the 4G rollout? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.

     

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