Freeview interference testing heads to West London as at800 Group distributes 28,000 free 4G filters

Building on its trials in the West Midlands and South-east London, UK 4G rollout overlord the at800 Group is set to commence further interference testing in Brentford and Isleworth.

The latest investigation will commence on 29 April and will monitor the extent to which switching on 4G harms TV services like Freeview.

As part of the trial, at800 will distribute free signal filters to some 28,000 households in the West London areas. Testing in the capital is seen as a crucial indicator of the potential for TV disruption resulting from 4G mast activation, due to the capital's high population density and crowded airwaves.

The at800 filters are small, passive devices that don't require a power source, and fit between your existing aerial cabling and TV or set-top box. The telecoms collective has said that viewers experiencing difficulty installing the filter should consult the at800 contact centre on 0333 31 31 800.

"This test will help us assess any problems viewers may have with fitting filters and whether receiving one in advance improves awareness and understanding of the potential issue. We will have professional testing units and aerial installers in the area to help get Freeview services back to normal if they are affected by our test," commented Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive of at800.

Initial speculation positing that 4G could affect TV reception for up to two million homes appears to have been overstated, after Freeview interference testing in the West Midlands showed minimal disruption - only 15 homes were adversely impacted, a figure considerably lower than the 120 signals that would have been doomed were the predictions accurate.

Fears of an impending 4G apocalypse derive from the close proximity of the 800MHz LTE frequency to the UK's Freeview signal, but if the at800 Group's trials continue to see minimal interference, Britain's 4G switch-on could go ahead as early as this summer. South-east London is also currently undergoing testing.

The at800 Group is a joint venture set up by 4G operators Three, Vodafone, EE, and O2 to probe the impact of 4G rollout on digital TV signals and services.