Confirmed: Freeview to be out of 4G's way by end of July

4G mobile services will have full access to the 800 MHz frequency band across the UK from the beginning of August 2013. The last remaining TV services still broadcast on the affected frequencies are being moved on the 31st July, according to information supplied by Digital UK today.

The 800 MHz band forms the upper range of frequencies traditionally allocated to terrestrial television services. Last month, Ofcom auctioned those frequencies to EE, Hutchison 3G (Three), Vodafone and Telefonica (O2) for 4G/LTE mobile broadband use. EE already operates 4G services using alternative frequencies.

In order for 4G services in the 800 MHz band to go live this year, terrestrial television services have been gradually moved to other frequencies.

The North of Scotland will became the last part of the UK affected by the current clearance programme. Viewers on the Orkney Islands will need to retune on the 24th July, while Inverness will become the last city in the UK where viewers will have to retune on the 31st July.

The clearance programme started last October in Sussex, before moving into parts of Wales, Cumbria and the Isle of Man during the autumn and winter. In some areas, including Northern Ireland and London, 4G clearance was fully included in the digital switchover process.

Before this summer's events in Northern Scotland, Freeview services are being moved this spring in areas including North West England, parts of the Midlands, Anglia and the Westcountry region.

Among fears that 4G services on the former TV frequency band will cause interference to television services assigned to neighbouring frequencies and that current TVs and aerials designed to receive TV services in the 800 MHz band will be overloaded by the 4G signal, an interference mitigation scheme operated by the 4G mobile phone companies will send out filters to affected households. DMSL will contact affected households at least four weeks before local 4G transmitters go live. Where the 4G signal is too strong, DMSL will be tasked at providing households with alternative access to free-to-air television.

4G services in the 800 MHz band will go live before July/August in major urban areas where clearance has already taken place.

A full list of upcoming 4G related Freeview retune events are listed here >

DMSL/AT800 confirms TV 4G interference mitigation plans >

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  1. PS These two radio programmes might also be of assistance as they can sometimes feature items about Freeview, Freesat, digital TV or media companies:

    Take care, :-)


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