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February 12, 2013

4G rollout could knock off millions of TV connections in the UK

Only Freeview TV and boxes are anticipated to be affected by 4G services.

By CBR Staff Writer

UK communications watchdog, Ofcom, estimates that TV signals in 2.3 million UK homes will be affected by interference from 4G signals.

TV viewers will need to have filters to minimise interference with their signals. Nearly 40,000 homes could lose their Freeview signal as their filter will not be effective but can opt for alternative ways to receive TV signals such as through satellite or cable.

Digital Mobile Spectrum (DMSL), a new firm funded through £180m of the proceeds going to the 4G radio spectrum auction, is responsible for the problem.

The firm revealed plans to offer filters for Freeview televisions that could face signal reception problems upon the launch of 4G in the summer.

Satellite receivers are expectednot to be affected by the launch of 4G network services.

Ofcom estimates that about 1000 UK viewers will not be able to access alternative choices and will be left with no TV service.

DMSL chief executive executive, Simon Beresford-Wiley, said that the agency will work closely with broadcasters and mobile network operators to ensure everyone continues to be able to receive their current TV service.

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"DMSL plans to pre-empt the majority of potential interference issues caused by 4G at 800 MHz and existing TV services," Wiley said.

"We need to be fully operational by March to be in place to mitigate any interference issues."

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