How bad is the 4G Freeview Fail going to be exactly? Will millions of TV sets be rendered useless at a single stroke? Will old analogue sets explode? Will newborn kittens die?
According to results from a recent test, it’s not going to be as bad as any of that. At800, the group that’s responsible for carrying out live trials of 4G in the field, has reported that out of 22,000 homes, just 15 experienced Freeview interference.
Over 100 calls were logged at the affected homes in the test areas in Cradley Heath and Rowley Regis in the West Midlands. Aerial installers along with signal experts from the BBC and Ofcom visited these locations to log data and install 4G signal filters. Once installed, the 4G filters blocked the 4G interference and restored Freeview services in all cases.
Read Recombu Digital’s report on the 4G Freeview Fail
Those who’ve been following the 4G Freeview Fail story will know that its low frequency 4G on the 800MHz band that threatens to interfere with Freeview reception.
EE’s 4G service at the moment operates exclusively on the 1800MHz band which is why it doesn’t cause any problems. All of the UK’s mobile networks are expected to launch 4G services this summer and all of them have a slice of the 800MHz band.
Cradley Heath and Rowley Regis are two relatively small towns in the Black Country. Meaning for the full horrors of the 4G Freeview Fail to be properly assessed, large scale testing in cities will be needed.
Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive of at800, said: “This was a useful, small-scale test. We’ll now improve our forecast model and look at the approach we use to tackle the issues we’ve seen. Further extensive evaluation will occur during April and May as masts are switched on for tests across larger urban areas.”
At800 hasn’t revealed where its next trial will take place but we’d expect to hear more soon. Given that London stands to be the worst affected by the problem we’ve a hunch that the trial will be taking place there.