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4G TV interference tests: London's Freeview signal unaffected by switch on

EastEnders consumption in London is predicted to go ahead undisturbed by the UK's great 4G switch on, after investigations by the at800 Group revealed that rollout of the new telecoms platform did not disrupt Freeview viewing.

The at800 Group kicked off 4G/Freeview interference testing in the capital in April, with parts of west and south London selected as the initial trial areas.

It was feared that a TV apocalypse would descend as a result of activating 4G masts, due to the close proximity of the 800MHz LTE frequency to the UK's Freeview signal.

However, the London trials failed to result in a single complaint, and at800 Group Freeview testing in the West Midlands was also positive from the perspective of UK 4G operators.

The at800 Group pointed to London's strong Freeview frequency, as well as the distribution of free signal filters to some 28,000 at-risk homes (in West London), as contributing to the lack of disruption.

"London is a big and important market for 4G services and also has millions of Freeview viewers. Clearly it was essential for the broadcasters and the mobile operators that we run trials in London before a rollout of 4G at 800MHz," said Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive of at800.

He added: "Whilst it seems unlikely that there will be issues for the vast majority of television viewers in the capital, we will remain alert to any possible interference when rollout commences."

Freeview interference testing also is currently underway in Brighton, and if the at800 Group continues to witness positive results, the UK could go full-steam ahead with its 4G switch on this summer.

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