at800 has announced that it will conduct further testing of 4G at 800 MHz in York. Around 10,000 addresses in an area west of York city centre will receive a postcard later this week explaining that 4G at 800 MHz could cause problems with their Freeview service. Viewers can call at800 on 0333 31 31 800 for more information. at800 is the organisation tasked with ensuring viewers continue to receive TV channels on Freeview when 4G mobile services are launched at 800 MHz.1
The York test will allow at800 to further examine its approach to predicting where interference may occur. These predictions are based on several factors including the strength of television signals and the frequency separation between 4G at 800 MHz and local digital terrestrial television services.2 The test will also help at800 refine the approach it takes for viewers who may need additional support, such as the elderly and those with a disability.3
Potentially affected households are being informed this week, approximately one week before the masts that could affect their Freeview service are activated. In most cases, a free filter, available from at800 – connected between the TV aerial and the television, Freeview box or signal booster – will solve any issues by blocking 4G signals at 800 MHz. at800 will also have a team of professional aerial installers and testing units in the area to respond to calls from viewers.
Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive of at800, said, “The testing in York will help us further refine our approach, alongside the tests we’ve conducted and which continue in Brighton.4 We urge those viewers in York who receive a postcard, and who see new problems with their Freeview reception, to call us.”
If viewers have not been contacted directly through the post by at800, problems with their Freeview service are unlikely to be due to 4G at 800 MHz. Television received via a cable or satellite service is not expected to be affected. Only new 4G services at 800 MHz could cause problems with Freeview; existing 4G services from EE operate at 1800 MHz and do not disrupt television reception.
Download a PDF copy of this release – PR_at800_22_05_2013-York.pdf
at800 is the consumer brand of Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL), the organisation responsible for ensuring people continue to receive free-to-air television when 4G mobile services operating at 800 MHz are launched. The organisation is funded by the UK mobile operators with 800 MHz spectrum allocations to provide 4G services – EE, Telefónica UK (O2), Three and Vodafone.
1. 4G enables mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablet PCs to access the internet at super-fast speeds and is expected to bring innovations in business, entertainment, education and public services. 4G mobile services at 800 MHz and digital TV operate in adjacent parts of the radio spectrum. Equipment that receives television signals, such as aerials, amplifiers and digital tuners, can fail to block 4G at 800 MHz. This can cause loss of sound, blocky images or loss of some or all Freeview channels. Freeview is the television that viewers receive through their aerial. BT Vision, YouView, TalkTalk and Top Up TV also provide Freeview services. Satellite and cable TV services are unlikely to be affected by 4G at 800 MHz.
at800 will contact those households it predicts may be affected by this issue before 4G at 800 MHz is switched on in their area. It will also contact businesses, social housing departments, care homes, hospitals, schools and colleges to advise what action needs to be taken.
2. Homes in the area of York where the 4G masts operating at 800 MHz will be activated, most likely receive their digital terrestrial television signal from the Emley Moor transmitter. The highest DTT channel transmitted from Emley Moor is 52, which operates up to 726 MHz. This is 65 MHz away from the frequency band used for 4G at 800 MHz, which begins at 791 MHz.
3. As part of its commitment to the issue, £20 million of at800’s funding is set aside to provide additional support to the elderly and those with a disability. This includes managing arrangements for a home visit service, with local people available to help fit free at800 filters that are designed to block 4G at 800 MHz, and address any issues with Freeview caused by the rollout.
Tel: +44 (0) 7539 231 897