4G roll-out to disrupt UK television reception

The launch of 4G services in the UK is expected to disrupt television reception for terrestrial Freeview subscribers, according to regulator Ofcom.

Up to 2.3 million British households could be affected by 4G services, with 40% of homes operating a Freeview box.

Filters will allegedly be provided to eliminate the problem for such Freeview users, and satellite receivers will not be affected, claims Ofcom.

A reported £108 million from the 4G auction will be used to fund these filters as further 4G services are launched throughout the year.

It is expected that 1% of the affected Freeview users will not be able to use these filters to enhance their reception and will instead be offered an alternative solution.

Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL) has been created to manage the project and newly appointed chief executive, Simon Beresford-Wiley, will be working with broadcasters and mobile network operators to ensure its smooth administration.

“DMSL plans to pre-empt the majority of potential interference issues caused by 4G at 800MHz and existing TV services,” he said.

“We’re focussed on being able to provide anyone who may be affected with the information and equipment they’ll need to ensure they continue to receive free-to-air TV.”

EE is currently the only operator offering 4G but other operators are in the process of bidding for licences in the Ofcom auction.