Ofcom Worried That 4G Networks Will Interfere With TV Signals

UK telecom regulator Ofcom has warned that the next generation 4G network could mess with digital TV signals.

Ofcom has launched a consultation program to find out the extent of the interference and come up with measures to stop it from happening before 4G goes live in 2013.

“When the 800 MHz spectrum starts being used for mobile services they will be close in frequency to the spectrum used for digital terrestrial television (DTT). This means that there will be potential interference from mobile base stations that could affect the ability of some people to receive DTT,” Ofcom said in a consultation document.

The regulator said that it wanted the two networks to function together and warned that if adequate measures were not taken then around 760,000 British homes could have problems with their televisions.

Some digital TV customers may have to install filters in order to prevent 4G signals from interfering with their TV signal while in some cases mobile based stations will have to be changed. In some extreme cases, digital TV customers could be forced to switch to satellite TV.

Ofcom said that mobile operators would have pay up to £100 million to prevent this from happening.