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4G tests show impact on Freeview is less than expected

4G test results show problems eight times lower than predicted

4G mobile broadband

The first tests on 4G LTE using the 800MHz have shown the interference with Freeview is lower than expected.

The firm behind the testing, at800, has announced it has completed its first live test using 800MHz 4G LTE. It said that 15 households were affected when a total of around 120 was the prediction prior to the test – eight times lower. See also: 4G and Freeview TV interference tests begin.

The 800Mhz spectrum is being tested since it sits close to the 700MHz spectrum used for Freeview broadcasting and can therefore interfere. EE's existing 4G network uses the 1800MHz spectrum and the remaining spectrum which will be used for 4G in the UK is 2.6GHz. See also: 4G launch will affect millions of TV sets.

4G networks from O2, Vodafone and Three will be launched this year using the 800MHz spectrum. See also: 4G LTE rollout schedule in the UK.

Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive of at800, said "This was a useful, small-scale test. We'll now improve our forecast model and look at the approach we use to tackle the issues we've seen.  Further extensive evaluation will occur during April and May as masts are switched on for tests across larger urban areas."

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

Around 22,000 homes in close proximity of the 4G test masts were sent information in advance of the test prompting them to make contact if any interference was experienced. Over 100 calls were logged from these households.

Professional aerial installers and TV signal experts from at800, BBC, and Ofcom visited homes to check and verify the problems. The firm said all issues were down to TV systems with signal amplifiers. A simple filter which is smaller than a pack of cards fixed all the interference seen during the testing period.

at800 is now looking to a second test which will focus on testing a much larger urban area encompassing more homes.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.


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