Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive of at800, said, "The hilly terrain in Brighton – which can affect TV signals – coupled with Freeview being transmitted on frequencies very close to 4G at 800 MHz will make this a very useful trial. We urge viewers in Brighton to call us should they see any new problems with their Freeview reception."
The trial will also be the first time at800 provides specific support to the elderly or those with a disability. Depending on the trial outcome, a decision will be made on whether the 4G masts will remain active indefinitely.
Around 80,000 addresses in Brighton are being sent a postcard explaining that 4G will be activated in their area. Of these, 2,424 households in areas most likely to experience interference will also be sent an at800 filter before 15th May. The filter connects between the existing TV aerial cable and the television or Freeview box and is designed to block 4G at 800 MHz. If viewers have an amplifier or signal booster, the filter needs to be connected between the antenna and the amplifier. at800 believes most people will be able to fit the filter themselves.
£20 million of at800’s funding has been put aside to provide extra support for elderly and disabled Freeview viewers. According to at800, this includes "managing arrangements for a home visit service, with local people available to help fit free at800 filters that are designed to block 4G at 800 MHz, and address any issues with Freeview caused by the rollout".
- If viewers would like more information, they can visit www.at800.tv or call at800 on 0333 31 31 800.
Freeview and 4G: close neighbours in Brighton
|How Freeview from the Whitehawk Hill transmitter uses frequencies close to the new 4G at 800 MHz service.|
The UHF band closest to the frequencies now assigned for 4G is intensely used in the Brighton area. The Freeview multiplex broadcasting the BBC's main TV channels is located just a short distance away from the beginning of the 800 MHz frequency band - previously used for TV and now to be used for 4G mobile services. With some of the UK's most watched TV channels so close to a potential source of interference, at800 will want to closely monitor how reception is affected.
In addition to services at the main Whitehawk Hill transmitter being potentially affected in the Brighton area, other transmitters relaying from Whitehawk Hill in the area also use frequencies adjacent to the 4G frequency band. These include Ovingdean, Hangleton and Saltdean. It is difficult to plan frequencies and find clear channels in this area, due to potential interference to and from continental TV transmitters.