Skip to main content

Ofcom: 4G to damage TV signal in over 2 million homes

UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom has warned that up to 2.3 million British households could have their TV reception affected by the 4G mobile spectrum being rolled out across the country.

Though satellite receivers will not be hit by the problem, filters will be required for all Freeview users affected by 4G, leaving nearly one million homes needing assistance.

Around £180 million of funds provided by the winners of the ongoing 4G auction will be used to pay for the filters.

Although the one per cent of affected Freeview households who won’t be able to use the filters will be provided with alternatives, Ofcom estimates that around 1,000 homes will not be able to access these alternatives either, and will subsequently be left without television services.

A non-profit group called Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL) has thus been created to tackle the problem. "I look forward to working closely with broadcasters and mobile network operators to ensure everyone continues to be able to receive their current TV service," DSML’s new chief executive Simon Beresford-Wiley told the BBC.

"DMSL plans to pre-empt the majority of potential interference issues caused by 4G at 800 MHz and existing TV services. We're focused on being able to provide anyone who may be affected with the information and equipment they'll need to ensure they continue to receive free-to-air TV."