4G disruption to Freeview tested in York

Around 10,000 homes to the west of York city centre will take part to assess the extent of disruption to Freeview TV caused by 4G signal.

Tests will be carried out in York to ensure that Freeview customers don't lose their digital TV signal as new 4G networks are launched.

The scheme will be run by at800, a group set up to help prevent 4G interference, which telecoms regulator Ofcom has warned may affect the Freeview TV service of up to 900,000 homes.

Around 10,000 addresses in an area west of York city centre will receive a postcard later this week explaining that 4G - superfast mobile broadband signal transmitted at 800MHz, a similar frequency to that used by Freeview - could disrupt their TV reception.

Homes affected by 4G interference will be offered free equipment to fix the problem.

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.

"We urge those viewers in York who receive a postcard and who see new problems with their Freeview reception to call us."

Currently, EE is the only major UK provider offering a 4G mobile service. It operates on a different frequency (1,800MHz) at the moment, so there hasn't yet been any Freeview disruption.

However, as rival networks - including Vodafone, O2 and Three - launch their own 4G services in the coming months, it's likely that problems will start to arise.

at800, which has been funded by the UK mobile networks themselves, has already completed a series of tests in the Cradley Heath and Rowley Regis areas of the West Midlands. The results so far have been positive, with relatively few homes affected by 4G interference.

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