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4G and Freeview TV interference tests begin

Website and helpline for Freeview watchers affected by 4G go live

4G Freeview interference

Testing has begun using temporary 4G LTE masts in the UK to see how it interferes with Freeview TV signal.

The first pilot has started in Cradley Heath and Rowley Regis this week to assess the extent to which Freeview might be disrupted by 4G services at the 800MHz frequency. The organisation behind the tests, at800, has set up a website and a helpline in preparation. See also: 4G launch will affect millions of TV sets.

Simon Beresford-Wylie, at800 chief executive, said: "I'm delighted that just two weeks after the license awards, we are already in a strong position and about to begin our first pilot. This is an important phase and will give us a clearer picture of how many people are likely to be affected. We'll do our best to ensure minimum disruption to viewers in the area as we gather the information we need."

The launch of 4G services using the 800MHz spectrum could affect up to 2.3 million homes.

Funded by EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, at800 is asking for help between 18 March and 1 April for the test. Households possibly affected have been contacted by post and are urged to call 0333 31 31 800 if any interference is encountered.

See: What is 4G? A complete guide to 4G.

"More trials will follow ahead of the first commercial rollouts of 4G at 800MHz expected from early summer 2013." said at800.

Further to testing, at800 is already buying and branding filters, creating targeted advertising for those likely to be affected and developing an 'extensive programme' to support 'vulnerable groups'.

at800 will contact residents in an 'interference zone' up to 12 weeks, but no later than four, before 4G services launch in the area. Easy to install filters will also be sent out ahead 4G launches to combat the problem. Freeview watchers can get more information at www.at800.tv.

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