4G LTE may screw up TV reception for 900K Brits
900K British households may see their free terrestrial TV reception disrupted by nationwide rollout of 4G LTE services next year.
British telecom regulator Ofcom is preparing to auction off radio spectrum in 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands for the next generation 4G LTE services. The problem is – until recently, the 800 MHz band was used for analog terrestrial TV delivery. And only parts of it were freed up for mobile broadband services, as TV moved to a much more efficient digital format. But Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT/Freeview) channels are very close to where 4G transmitters will be broadcasting. And if the your home is near the 4G base station – stronger mobile service signal will probably screw up your Freeview reception.
But don’t worry too much. The British Government has an £180 million scheme to keep your TV interference free. Free filters attached to the TV/set top box will solve the problem for most people. Where filters can’t help (about 10K households) – the program will sponsor a switchover to cable or satellite. And those rare cases (500 or so) where cable and satellite is not an option – the program will have £10,000 per household to find a solution.
And before you start complaining about the waste of taxpayer pounds, know that mobile operators who win the spectrum will have to pick up the £180M tab.