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4G fries just 15 Freeview TVs in latest tests

Tests suggest that when new 4G services launch this summer, they won't have as much of an effect on TV signals as previously thought.

Tests suggest that when new 4G services launch this summer, they won't have as much of an effect on Freeview TV signals as previously thought.

4G signals zap high-speed Internet into your phone on a frequency perilously close to the frequency used to send Freeview to your telly, leading to concern that 4G would interfere with Freeview. But in the latest tests, just 15 out of 200,000 houses reported problems.

A special body has been set up to deal with the problem. at800 has held tests across the UK, with the latest tests held in the Midlands and London. at800 is currently running a trial in Brighton, which has more hills than previous testing areas, and has seen just a "handful" of problems in the area.

Previous tests have had similar results, suggesting that earlier estimates overstated the potential problem. Campaigners worried as many as 2 million homes would be affected, while telecoms watchdog Ofcom estimated that as many as 900,000 homes could have problems with 4G and Freeview.

When phone networks launch 4G services this summer, they'll use the 800MHz band, which is the same as Freeview -- leading to concerns that your TV would suffer interference. Fortunately it's easily fixed with a special filter that's attached to your TV aerial, paid for by the phone networks.

The mobile networks have stumped up £180m to spend on fitting filters for affected homes. But the networks will get that money back if the problem turns out not to be a problem at all.

Britain's first 4G network, EE, uses a different frequency, so it doesn't affect Freeview. Only the airwaves auctioned off to the other networks are at risk, but we won't see 4G services from those networks until later in the year. 

What do you think of 4G? Are you in the test area, and has your telly been affected? Tell us about it in the comments or look out for interference on our Facebook page.