4G helpline tests whether 4G fries your Freeview

A 4G test is investigating the effects of extra-fast LTE mobile Internet on Freeview TVs, complete with a helpline to report problems.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read

If 4G fries your Freeview, phone these folks. An experiment to test the effects of extra-fast LTE mobile Internet on television signals has started, complete with a helpline to report problems with your TV.

4G LTE signals are expected to interfere with Freeview TV signals, so temporary transmitters have been switched on to test the extent of the problem. A body called at800 is beaming 4G signals across Cradley Heath and Rowley Regis, near Dudley, and want to hear from you if you're affected.

If you're in that area and your Freeview TV is affected, call 0333 31 31 800 for more information.

4G LTE technology beams the Internet to phones, tablets and dongles over the 800MHz frequency, which is also a frequency Freeview uses. Ofcom reckons 900,000 Freeview users will be affected by possible interference, although campaigners claim millions could be affected.

To solve the problem UK networks have had a whip-round and chipped in £180m to buy special filters for everyone effected. Should your Freeview go on the fritz when 4G fires up, an engineer can stop by to fit the filter that will then block the 4G signal.

Britain's first 4G phone network launched late last year. But EE, the network formed by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile, uses 1,800MHz airwaves. That's spectrum already used for mobile signals, and doesn't interfere with TV signals. The 800MHz spectrum will only come into use when the networks launch more 4G services this summer.

Are you excited about 4G? Are you in the Dudley area, and have you been affected by the 4G test? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.