4G phone service rollout could lead to TV disruption

Freeview TV susbcribers in and around Newton Stewart are being warned this week that the launch of a new mobile broadband signal could disrupt their service.

The warning comes because some 4G signals operate at 800 MHz; adjacent to the frequencies used by Freeview.

TVs and set-top boxes that receive Freeview can fail to block the 4G signals causing interference such as a loss of sound, blocky images or loss of some or all channels.

A company has been set up to help those experiencing difficulties and funded by the UK mobile operators licensed to offer 4G mobile services at 800 MHz.

The role of the company, called ‘at800’, is to make sure viewers can still watch Freeview, or are offered a suitable alternative as 4G at 800 MHz services go live - at no cost to viewers.

Ben Roome, chief executive of at800 said: “New 4G mobile masts are bringing mobile broadband to Newton Stewart, but they do have the potential to disrupt TV reception for some households. We’re already helping viewers in the area and continue to offer support. We want to ensure that people know it’s our role to fix any disruption to Freeview due to 4G at 800 MHz and that there’s no charge for our support.”

If a viewer lives in a house with its own aerial, does not have satellite or cable television and 4G at 800 MHz is diagnosed as causing disruption to Freeview, at800 will restore their television service to its previous quality.

If at800 believes disruption to Freeview is due to 4G at 800 MHz, it will arrange for an accredited engineer to visit the viewer’s home, check the cause and fit an approved filter to the TV system, at no cost to the viewer. In most cases, disruption will be fixed by an at800 filter.

With more 4G masts due to go live, any viewers who experience new disruption to Freeview should contact at800 on 0333 31 31 800 (included in mobile and landline call packages)or 0808 13 13 800 (free from landlines, calls from mobiles vary in cost). You can also visit www.at800.tv for contact details and more information.