at800 will offer help to people whose TV is affected by new mobile masts until at least the end of 2020. The decision has been taken as the UK mobile operators continue to expand and enhance mobile services over the next two years. Since 2013, at800 has helped over 260,000 households with issues receiving Freeview related to the rollout of 4G services at 800 MHz.
Ben Roome, CEO of Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL) the company that runs the at800 programme, said: “Mobile operators are continuously improving their 4G service and want to ensure this does not inconvenience Freeview viewers. Continuing to offer support via at800 allows operators to focus on their core business, while we fix any issues this may cause to TV reception.”
“We want to ensure that people know that it will continue to be our role to fix Freeview interference caused by 4G at 800 MHz, through to the end of 2020, and that there’s no charge for our service,” Roome said.
“If you rely on Freeview for TV, we can send you a filter, which simply fits onto the aerial lead connection to TVs and set-top boxes, to block mobile signals. Full instructions are included, and we can provide further advice online and by phone if needed.”
“In most instances, fitting the filter will resolve TV signal problems, but if this isn’t the case, we may also be able to arrange a follow-up visit from an at800 engineer at no cost, depending on eligibility.”
Cable and satellite TV, such as Sky or Virgin, won’t be affected.
People who live in communal properties should contact at800 and also advise their landlords. at800 can provide free filters to landlords, but property managers are responsible for fitting them to communal aerial installations.
With more 4G masts due to go live, any viewers who experience new interference to Freeview should contact at800 on:
- 0808 13 13 800 (free from landlines and mobiles)
DMSL also helps deliver a government viewer support programme enabling 700 MHz spectrum to be cleared from use by TV and made available for future mobile services. For more information on changes to Freeview occurring as part of this work, please visit: https://www.freeview.co.uk/tvchanges
About at800, 4G and Freeview
at800 is a programme run by Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL). Formed under government direction, it is responsible for ensuring that households reliant on Freeview for TV can continue to receive it, or are offered a suitable alternative, when 4G at 800 MHz is activated in their area. The at800 programme is funded by the UK mobile operators licensed to use the 800 MHz spectrum for mobile services: EE, Telefónica UK (O2), Three and Vodafone.
4G enables mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablet PCs to access the internet at super-fast speeds and is helping to drive innovation in business, entertainment, education and public services.
Both 4G mobile services and digital TV use parts of the radio spectrum – that is bands of frequencies – to reach us. The 800 MHz frequencies used by some 4G services are next to the frequencies used for Freeview. There is a very small chance that 4G signals can cause interference to TVs and set-top boxes that receive Freeview. Typical issues include loss of sound or pixelated/blocky images. Satellite and cable TV services will not be affected by 4G at 800 MHz.
at800 contacts households it predicts may be affected by this issue when 4G at 800 MHz is switched on in their area. It also writes to businesses, councils, social housing departments, care homes, hospitals, schools and universities to advise what action needs to be taken.