Solved In Depth: 4G could ruin your TV: here's what will save it

In Depth: 4G could ruin your TV: here's what'll save  it

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Though EE has actually been providing a restricted 4G service for about a year now, the true UK 4G transformation has only just kicked off.

Both O2 and Vodafone signed up with the 4G market at the end of August, and when 3 joins the party in December it’ll imply that Britain is totally 4G at last.

But there’s an issue. Or rather, there’s a possible problem for a little minority of the UK population.

Disruptive technology

All four 4G-capable networks deal with a clash with the UK’s Freeview television service that could interfere with a number of UK homeowners’ TELEVISION signals. This disruption may involve a loss of sound, a blocky image, or at worst a complete loss of some TV networks for specific individuals using Freeview.

At800 is the name of the business that’s actually been developed to manage this possible concern. It’s totally funded by the 4 UK networks mentioned above – EE, O2, Vodafone and 3 – who’ve contributed a total amount of ₤ 180 million to that end.

So what’s the source of this potential signal disruption? Much of this brand-new 4G information web traffic will certainly operate on the 800MHz spectrum, which was freed up with the end of UK TV analog broadcasts in 2012 and immediately auctioned off by the UK government for 4G usage. Each of the four major UK networks took a piece.

With the additional headroom paid for by this liberating process – as the well as the use of two other frequencies, 2600MHz and 1800MHz – UK drivers are able to provide (or will ultimately) mobile phone information speeds that are roughly comparable to a good broadband service.

4G killed the TV star

The difficulty that the UK faces is that our Freeview TELEVISION service operates on the close-by 700MHz spectrum. In most cases these 2 surrounding signals play nicely. ‘4G provides a very clean signal that only occupies that spectrum it’s actually been allocated,’ describes at800 CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie.

In certain locations around Britain, though, these 2 surrounding spectrums overlap, causing the previously mentioned interruption to Freeview TELEVISION services. As Beresford-Wylie clarifies it, ‘the problems can occur when systems are overwhelmed by too strong an incorporated signal from DTT and 4G that can cause amplifiers or tuners to fall short.’

This essentially boils down to those families that are found really near to a 4G mast, and who also make use of Freeview as their primary ways of seeing TV. As you can imagine, this is a relatively little number of people.

Back at the beginning of June, at800 revealed that no even more than 90,000 households would be at risk of this 800MHz interruption. We asked the business if these projections continued to be exact some three months on, and they confirmed that they were.

Mobile phone mast

Enter at800

Fortunately, there’s a contingency plan in place to deal with any clashes between these two UK services.

In addition to supplying the financing, each UK network operator has an agent on the 4G/TV Co-existence Oversight Board that manages at800’s work.

This close cooperation helps at800 pinpoint precisely where aid is required. ‘The four drivers share with us their rollout plans in regards to mast activation to allow us to target our mailing to homes that can be affected within the next three to twelve weeks by a brand-new mast being activated,’ explains Beresford-Wylie.

So what do you do if you’re among these afflicted 90,000 families? As pointed out, steps have actually been taken to help you out, and it shouldn’t cost you a penny.

For a lot of people influenced by the clash, a basic signal filter will be sufficient to recover your Freeview signal to complete strength. These will be sent by mail out to afflicted houses in advance of 4G masts being triggered in their location, alongside further directions on its installment.

‘Up until now, any instances of interruption triggered by 4G at 800 MHz have been totally repaired with a filter,’ claims Beresford-Wylie.

Extreme measures

For an even smaller sized minority, however, this measure may not show enough. Such ones can use the at800 Accredited Installer Scheme, which was revealed on July 17, by calling the number detailed at the bottom of this article.

This scheme includes at800 working along with the wider aerial installment industry to appoint authorized professionals to visit afflicted homes and develop a plan to get over any lingering difficulties.

We asked Beresford-Wylie what precisely these recognized installers would be able to do in the worst-hit areas. It appears that they’ll primarily be made use of to set up the aforementioned filters in areas that prove hazardous or unattainable for customers, ‘such as on a roof in front of an amplifier, or in a lift prior to the aerial cable television reaches a splitter.’

‘Installers can also examine the state of existing aerial and cable set-ups to help provide the very best TV signal and get rid of disruption from 4G,’ he said. ‘More actions include the possibility of a change of platform,’ he adds, which can involve establishing a cable-based TELEVISION service alternative.

‘However we haven’t seen any cases yet where this has been essential,’ keeps in mind Beresford-Wylie.

4G mast

Signals from the future

It looks like if at800 has the 800MHz circumstance paid for now, then, however you might be worried regarding how long this support will last. After all, each UK network’s 4G providing is going to expand dramatically over the coming months and years. O2 has committed to attaining 98 percent UK 4G protection by 2017, so the UK 4G transformation won’t be achieved overnight.

‘At800 will exist until YEAR after the condition of 98 percent population coverage has actually been achieved,’ Beresford-Wylie assures us. ‘The licence condition need to be satisfied by the end of 2017, so in that scenario at800 would exist until completion of 2018.’

However, the concern continues to be: could the need for at800 have been stayed clear of? Was any individual at fault?

Beresford-Wylie believes it’s simply an inescapable outcome of regularly progressing network innovations and the limited signal spectrum they’ve to run in.

‘As spectrum use modifications – and bands are re-allocated for different uses – there will certainly constantly be some requirement for modifications or adaptation to equipment,’ he states, ‘but that needs to be viewed in the context of making the best use of the spectrum we’ve available.’


If you think that your Freeview TELEVISION experience has been affected by 4G, contact 0808 13 13 800 free from a landline or 0333 31 31 800 on your mobile phone.

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